News / Middle East

Deadly Blast Rips Through Syrian-Turkish Border Post

People help wounded a Syrian man in a Turkish hospital in Kilis,  southern Turkey after an  explosion near the border of Syria-Turkey in Es-Selame City, Feb. 20 , 2014.
People help wounded a Syrian man in a Turkish hospital in Kilis, southern Turkey after an explosion near the border of Syria-Turkey in Es-Selame City, Feb. 20 , 2014.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— An explosion believed to have been caused by a car bomb tore through a Syrian refugee camp at a border post on the frontier with Turkey on Thursday, killing five people, a monitoring group said.

Turkey is sheltering more than 600,000 refugees from Syria's almost three-year-long civil war and has kept its border open throughout the conflict.

Ambulances ferried the injured from the refugee camp to the southern Turkish city of Kilis, where a state hospital official said at least 40 people were being treated.

A Turkish border official said the blast near Turkey's Oncupinar border post, which sits opposite the Syrian Bab al-Salameh gate, could be felt several kilometers away, but that the border gate remained open.

Amateur video posted on the Internet showed what appeared to be three bodies under blankets. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said five people were confirmed dead and a fire broke out in the camp after the blast.

Thousands of Syrians have been fleeing the city of Aleppo, some 60 km (40 miles) south of Kilis, in recent weeks because of a campaign of improvised "barrel bomb" attacks by President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

Many of the displaced live at a makeshift camp on the Syrian side of the border. Thursday's blast hit this area, according to video footage.

Towns near Bab al-Salameh have also seen sporadic clashes between the rebels fighting Assad and fighters from an al Qaeda splinter group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Pulling out bodies

Abu Osama, a camp administrator, said the explosion happened behind his office and at least 20 tents were reduced to rubble.

"Some of the bodies and tents melted from the explosion," he said over the phone. "We have had thousands of new refugees come to this area the past 20 days because of the barrel bombing in Aleppo."

He blamed the attack on militants from ISIL and said it had fired several rockets near the camp over the past few days where members of the rival Islamic Front rebel group are based.

An eyewitness in the refugee camp who spoke on condition of anonymity said he pulled four bodies from the tents.

"The bomb exploded on the main road in front of the camp and affected a 500-meter radius. This road is frequently used by civilians, busses and trucks," he said.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid