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UN Security Council strongly condemns Reyhanlı bombings

The UN Security Council on Monday strongly condemned a pair of deadly weekend car bombings in Turkey, saying it was crucial 'to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice.'
TIMETURK / News Center

Two car bombs ripped through crowded shopping streets in the border town of Reyhanlı in the province of Hatay on Saturday, killing 50 people and increasing fears that Syria's civil war is being dragging into neighboring states, despite renewed diplomatic moves to end it.

The 15-member Security Council urged all states to cooperate with Turkish authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday that 13 people have been detained in connection with the bombings. Authorities earlier said nine people were detained, all Turkish citizens, including the alleged mastermind of the attacks.

Turkey, which is home to some 400,000 Syrian civil war refugees, blamed the bombings on a group with direct links to Syrian intelligence. Damascus has denied any involvement.

In a statement, the Security Council said, "Any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed."

A dispute between Russia, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and the United States over how to end Syria's two-year war has left the Security Council paralyzed. Russia has been backing and arming Assad, while the United States and Europe have supported the opposition with what they say is non-lethal aid and have called for Assad's departure.

While Russia and China have vetoed three resolutions condemning Assad's government, the council has occasionally condemned violent attacks in Syria. In its statement on the bombings in Turkey on Monday, the council was careful not to assign blame to either side in the conflict.

Separately, China and some Arab countries have also condemned the deadly twin car bomb attacks in Reyhanlı.

“China opposes any attacks that target civilians,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei in a statement. The Chinese spokesman sent condolences to the victims and their families and expressed sympathy for the Turkish government and people.

Among Arab states that condemned the bombings are Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, Algeria, Morocco, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Arab League and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned the attacks as well.

A Syrian opposition group says the toll from two years of civil war has risen to at least 82,000 dead and 12,500 missing. Five million people have fled their homes, including the 1.4 million refugees who have gone to nearby countries, the United Nations says.(Reuters-todayszaman)