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Anti-government anger in Turkey after Syria border bombings

Anti-government anger in Turkey after Syria border bombings
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Authorities in southern Turkey say they have detained four more suspects in connection with twin car bomb attacks last weekend. It means the total number of arrests after the bombs has risen to 17. Turkish media also say a car has been found which it is suspected was due to be used for a third attack.

The announcements followed clashes with police in Reyhanli near the Syrian border where the bombs went off, as protesters vented their anger at the government’s response.

The bombs increased fears that Turkey could be dragged deeper into the Syrian conflict – and many accuse the government of lax security.

“The rebels in Syria have been crossing the border with great ease. We don’t have a border any more. There’s smuggling and other things. The situation has created great danger in Hatay province,” said one man taking part in the protests.

“We are here to display brotherhood and solidarity. Our people are united here. Christians, Alawites, Sunnis and Armenians are all united here,” said another.

Another demonstration in Hatay city centre went off peacefully.

There were clashes in the Turkish capital Ankara, where demonstrators chanted “the people of Reyhanli are not alone”.

Last weekend’s attacks killed more than 50 people; some believe the real toll was much higher.

Ankara has blamed Syrian intelligence for orchestrating the bombings, while Damascus has reportedly pointed the finger at Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.