UN chief condemns blast on Syria border

Posted at 02/13/13 2:20 PM

UNITED NATIONS - UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday condemned a deadly blast in a minibus on the Turkey-Syria border amid concern that violence in Syria would spill over to its neighbors, a spokesman said.

The vehicle exploded on Monday 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. Fourteen people died.

"The secretary-general strongly condemns the attack," Ban spokesman Martin Nesirky said. "He underscores the unacceptability of using violence against civilians."

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the powerful blast was a bomb attack.

Ban "reiterates his deep concern over the spillover of the Syrian crisis into neighboring countries," Nesirky said. "He renews his call for all parties to refrain from using violence, exercise restraint and move toward a political solution."

The Cilvegozu crossing is one of seven functioning border posts along Turkey's 560-mile (900-kilometer) 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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