AFP
Last updated: 21 July, 2012

Turkish trucks burned and looted by “independent groups” at the Syrian border

“Independent groups” ransacked and burned 30 Turkish trucks at a border post in Syria, the governor of the neighbouring Turkish province told reporters after a security meeting Saturday

“We have the information that our trucks were burned and looted by independent groups who earn their living from smuggling,” Celalettin Lekesiz, governor of the Hatay province in southern Turkey, said.

He was speaking at the Cilvegozu border crossing, which lies just across from the Bab al-Hawa border post in Syria, which rebel fighters captured from Syrian government troops after fierce fighting on Thursday.

The governor however did not elaborate who these groups were.

Dozens of Turkish trucks were burned and looted during Thursday’s fighting between rebel fighters and the Syrian regime’s loyalist troops at Bab al-Hawa border crossing in Syria, just four kilometres from Turkey’s Cilvegozu post.

Nineteen out of 30 trucks had been returned to their owners; another nine or so were burned out and the rest were still being held inside Syria, said Lekesiz.

The governor advised Turkish citizens not to cross into Syria because of concerns over security.

In response to a question, the governor said he had not been in contact with the rebel fighters about the incident.