Turkish interior minister has said there was no al-Qaeda involvement in twin car bomb attacks in a Turkish town near the Syrian frontier, the deadliest cross-border violence in Turkey since Syria's popular uprising began in March 2011.
"For the time being there is no evidence suggesting that al-Qaida was involved," Muammer Guler told reporters in a press briefing Sunday a day after the double blasts killed 46 people and injured more than 100 others in the Reyhanli town just across the Syrian province of Idlib.
Nine people -- all Turkish nationals -- were detained in the connection with the blasts, and Guler as well as other senior Turkish officials have blamed a former Marxist terrorist organization with "direct links" to groups and intelligence services loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The two explosions, which occurred just 15 minutes apart at a busy shopping district, were carried out with high-yield remote-control time bombs, Guler said, damaging 452 workplaces, 62 vehicles, 11 public offices and 293 apartments.
"We have determined that the materials used in bomb-making entered Hatay illegally, the cars were registered here in this province via third parties and were equipped with bombs in several workshops and offices, and unfortunately, were set off in a short time frame after being situated in the place of the explosions," Guler said.
"We will cover their losses, we will dress Reyhanli's wounds," Guler said.
"It is not possible to bring back the dead or to remove the suffering completely, but life carries on."
When asked about Syrian information minister's remarks denying any Syrian regime involvement in the attacks, Guler said "our findings point to the contrary."
"There were similar statements in Cilvegozu [car bomb attack] as well. Such (attacks) are neither humane nor they are allowed in Islam," Guler said. "The perpetrators of these attacks, those who try to test Turkey's power and patience, will pay the price."
The car bomb attack the Cilvegozu border crossing in February this year killed 14 people. That attack was also blamed on Syrian intelligence services.