Car bomb explodes at Syria-Turkey crossing, leaves 7 dead: Reports
Thick smoke rises out of burning vehicles at the site of a car explosion on the Syrian border crossing of Bab al-Hawa, at the Syrian-Turkish border which is manned by Free Syrian Army members, in Harem, Idlib Governorate September 17, 2013. REUTERS photoA car bomb exploded on the Syrian side of the main Bab al-Hawa crossing with Turkey on Tuesday and at least a dozen people were taken to nearby hospitals, Syrian opposition activists on the border said.
Seven people were killed in the explosion, according to initial reports by Doğan News Agency and Cihan news agency. At least 20 people were also wounded in the blast, the reports also said.
The explosion occurred at a roadblock manned by Islamist brigades at the entrance of the rebel-held crossing, several hundred metres from the Turkish side, they added.
Pictures taken by activists on the scene showed several burnt and mangled cars and an engine block that apparently flew to the side of the road from the vehicle.
"The objective is to destabilise security at the crossing. The casualties are all civilians, from the people queuing to cross," said Omar Aref, one of the activists.
Tuesday's was the second car bomb attack on the crossing. On February 11, a car bomb attack at the Cilvegözü border gate in the southern province of Hatay killed 14 people.
The explosion came a day after Turkey shot down a Syrian helicopter that had entered Turkish airspace.
The Syrian army said the shooting was "hasty" and accused the Turkish government, which backs the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, of trying to escalate tensions along the border.