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LOCAL > Tensions high as funerals held in Hatay

HATAY – Hürriyet Daily News

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The tensions were very high during the funerals, and relatives of the victims put the blame on officials “for not taking the necessary measures around the border,” as they cursed Syria. Hürriyet Daily News photo by Emral Gürel

The tensions were very high during the funerals, and relatives of the victims put the blame on officials “for not taking the necessary measures around the border,” as they cursed Syria. Hürriyet Daily News photo by Emral Gürel

Erdem Güneş Erdem Güneş erdem.gunes@hdn.com.tr

The death toll has risen to 46 in the twin car bomb attack on Reyhanlı in the southern province of Hatay, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay has announced today, as the funerals of the victims are being held amid high tensions.

Many residents have already left Reyhanlı after May 11, with most of them temporarily staying at the houses of relatives in other cities, locals have said.

Only funeral houses were full of victims’ relatives and neighbors.

The tensions were very high during the funerals, and relatives of the victims put the blame on officials “for not taking the necessary measures around the border,” as they cursed Syria.

“Nobody likes them,” said a local who survived the attacks about the Syrian refugee population there. Fatih Gül, whose 35-year-old cousin remains missing, said the Syrian refugees were responsible for the attacks. “After the explosions a Syrian’s car was turned upside down here, people beat them,” he told the Hürriyet Daily News. Only three days before the incident a fight had occurred between locals and Syrians at the same place as the cars exploded, he said.

Also some Syrian nationals began moving away from the town since they said they “do not have security of life in Turkey either.”

Mahmud Abdul and his family, who came Turkey three months ago, left the town this morning, saying they would return to Syria through the Kilis border gate.

“The war inside Syria continues, but we are not safe here either, also the locals do not want us, we are being threatened,” Abdul told the Daily News as he was emptying his house.


May/12/2013

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