Bomb hits Syrian refugee camp near Turkish border

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Originally published on February 21, 2014

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An explosion tore apart a refugee camp along the Syria-Turkey border on Thursday, killing at least five people, according to Reuters.

The blast, believed to have been a car bomb, exploded near a Syrian refugee camp located near a border crossing with Turkey on February 20th.

Turkish officials said the blast happened near Turkey's Oncupinar border post, a site that's home to a makeshift refugee camp sheltering thousands of Syrian refugees.

The car bomb went off on the Syrian side of the main road leading to the border. Turkish rescue workers ferried at least 40 injured people to a hospital in the Turkish city of Kilis.

Turkey has kept its borders open during the nearly three-year-long Syrian civil war and is sheltering some 600,000 Syrian refugees in camps inside Turkish soil.

Dozens of other refugee camps have sprung up in Syria alongside the border with Turkey and other neighboring countries.

Reports say Syrian government forces have stepped up the use of barrel bombs in the city of Aleppo in recent weeks.

Abu Osama, a refugee camp administrator, said thousands of new refugees have massed at the camp to escape the violence in Aleppo, a city some 60 kilometers from the Turkish border.

The death toll from the blast has yet to be confirmed. A group called "The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" said five people were confirmed dead and that a fire broke out in the tent camp after the blast.

But Turkish newspaper 'Today's Zaman' said 24 were killed and at least 40 injured.

No claims of responsibility have yet been made.

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