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Iraq PM condemns Turkey bombings

Published: Updated:

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Sunday condemned bombings in Turkey that killed dozens of people, saying they provide an additional incentive for international cooperation in fighting terrorism.

“The Iraqi government expresses its... strong condemnation of the criminal bombings in the Turkish town of Reyhanli and expresses its solidarity with the... Turkish people and the families of the innocent victims,” Maliki said in a statement on his website.

“These crimes and the expanding circle of terrorism constitute an additional incentive... to increase cooperation between all countries, especially countries in the region, and coordination between them, to cut the circle of terrorism,” he said.

Car bombs killed 46 people in Reyhanli, a town near the Syrian border, on Saturday. Ankara blamed the bombings on the Syrian regime, an accusation that Damascus has denied.

Turkey has become a rear base for rebels fighting to overthrow Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, and Damascus has already been blamed for a string of attacks on Turkish soil.

Iraq has refrained from publicly supporting either side in the conflict, though the United States has repeatedly said Iran is flying weapons to the Syrian regime via Iraqi airspace.

Relations between Baghdad and Ankara are chilly due to a variety of disagreements, including Turkey's decision to host former Iraqi vice president Tareq al-Hashemi, who has received multiple death sentences in Iraq on charges including murder.