Three killed in car explosion in Reyhanlı town centre in southern Turkey

(Updates with interior minister's comments in fourth paragraph, police search for second vehicle in sixth)

Three people were killed after a car carrying explosives detonated on Friday in the town centre of Reyhanlı district in southern Turkey’s Hatay province bordering Syria, Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper reported.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said soon after the blast that initial findings by the Interior Minister indicated the incident may be terror related.

“It is apparent that a bomb was inside the car and those inside were Syrian nationals, all three of them died,” Erdoğan said.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said the explosive device appeared to be have been improvised, and that the three Syrians were in Turkey under the temporary protection status granted to millions who have crossed the border fleeing the war.

The blast took place some 750 metres away from the district governorship building in the town centre, the Daily Sabah said.

Police are searching for a second vehicle laden with explosives, secularist daily Cumhuriyet reported.

Reyhanlı, a town five kilometres way from the Syrian border, was hit by bombings in 2013 which killed 51 people and left 140 wounded.