Deadly bombs spark protests in Turkish border city

May 12, 2013 20:56


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ANTAKYA, Turkey - Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of the Turkish city of Antakya on Sunday, a day after bombs killed nearly 50 people in a nearby town as Syria's civil war spills into the region.

Several hundred people, mostly leftist and nationalist demonstrators, marched through the center of the city no more than 50 km (30 miles) from the Syrian frontier, carrying banners and shouting anti-government slogans while onlookers cheered.

The protests came after two car bombs ripped through the center of Reyhanli on Saturday, a border town less than half an hour away and the latest flashpoint in the spread of violence from Syria, killing 46 and wounding scores more.

Ankara has blamed fighters loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad for the attacks and said they will not go unanswered.

But many in this frontier province of Hatay, a melting pot of sectarian, ethnic and religious groups, some of whom share Assad's Alawite creed, blame their own government and its policy on Syria for the bloodshed spilling onto Turkish soil.

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