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POLITICS > Turkish PM warns of retaliation after blast

ANKARA - Doğan News Agency

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Turkey will not hesitate to retaliate following a deadly blast at the Turkish-Syrian border on Feb. 11 that killed 14 people, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned yesterday.

“I saw the Syrian National Coalition’s claims in the papers today. I’m not sure if these are true,” the prime minister said in Ankara in reference to the group’s claim that they were the target of the blast.

Asked if the target was Turkey, Erdoğan said: “There is no doubt. If this is happening inside Turkey’s borders, [it means] some want to drag Turkey into this and provoke it, but we are not worried. We want the [aftermath of the] incident to settle down and then [we will] take action thoroughly. But I want you to know this. Nothing will go unanswered,” Erdoğan said.

One man was taken into custody over alleged connections to the border gate blast that killed 14 people, but Erdoğan said the number of detainees might increase.

“I haven’t received the most recent information yet but there are some detentions and this number is likely to increase,” he said.

The man allegedly took one of the unidentified suspects into his vehicle after the suspect got out of the van in which the explosives were placed. The other two suspects then advanced toward the Syrian side of the border.

The person in custody, identified as Tamer A., took the suspect about 35 kilometers into the city, before dropping him off near the center of Hatay. Tamer reportedly said he did not know who the person was.

Erdoğan said Interior Ministry and National Intelligence Organization (MİT) are working on the case, adding that he hoped the inquiry would end as soon as possible so that an official announcement can be made.

February/14/2013

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