NBC's Richard Engel reports from Turkey where two car bomb explosions in the town of Reyhanli near the Syria border killed at least 40 people and injured at least 100, raising fears Syria's civil war may be crossing the border.
Nine Turkish citizens were arrested Sunday in connection with the car bomb attacks that killed 46 people in a town near the Syrian border on Saturday.
The attacks, in the town of Reyhanli, were carried out by a group linked to Syria's intelligence service, Turkey’s deputy prime minister, Besir Atalay, told reporters.
However, Syria rejected Turkey's allegations that it was behind the bombs.
"Syria did not and will never do such an act because our values do not allow this. It is not anyone's right to hurl unfounded accusations," Syrian Information Minister Omran Zubi was quoted as saying on state media.
The car bombs increased fears that Syria's civil war was dragging in neighboring states despite renewed diplomatic moves towards ending two years of fighting in which more than 70,000 people have been killed.
Reyhanli, in the southern Hatay province, is in an area known to be home to many refugees. There are more than 300,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey, most of them in camps along the volatile border
It has also become a logistics base for rebels fighting Syria’s president Bashar Assad.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said those involved were thought also to have staged an attack on the Syrian coastal town of Banias a week ago in which at least 62 people were killed, Reuters reported.
"The attack has nothing to do with the Syrian refugees in Turkey, it's got everything to do with the Syrian regime," Davutoglu said in an interview on TRT television, Reuters said.
"We should be careful against ethnic provocations in Turkey and Lebanon after the Banias massacre," he said.
Related: Turkey PM: Red line has been crossed
This story was originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 9:10 AM EDT