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June 28, 2017

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Car blast on Syria border bomb attack: Turkey PM

ANKARA--Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that a powerful blast in a minibus on the Syrian border which killed 14 people was a bomb attack.

"A vehicle loaded with bombs was able to reach our customs gate because the customs gate on the Syrian side is not working and is not being controlled," Erdogan told parliament after Monday's incident.

Erdogan said the vehicle exploded in the buffer zone between Turkey's Cilvegozu border crossing and Syria's Bab al-Hawa post, which was seized by Syrian rebels in July.

"What we see in the footage that it is a crowded parking lot filled with pedestrians ... Anybody can see the death toll would be heavy," Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin told reporters earlier.

"So we believe civilians are the clear targets," Ergin added. "I curse this act of terror."

The Cilvegozu crossing is one of seven functioning border posts along Turkey's 910 kilometer (560 mile) frontier with Syria.

It is a major gateway into Syria, with hundreds of trucks lining up every day to take humanitarian aid into the war-torn nation.

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