Turkey: Wedding Attack, Saturday, Kills 51 People, Erdogan Points to ISIS

تم نشره في Sun 21 August / Aug 2016. 12:00 AM
  • Remnants of a bombing in Turkey - (Archives)

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — At least 51 people were killed when a suicide bomber aged between 12 and 14 attacked guests dancing on the street at a wedding party in Gaziantep, Turkey, near the Syrian border late on Saturday, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on Sunday, stating ISIS was behind the attack.

The bomb wounded 69 people as well, Mr Erdogan added, 17 of them seriously; targeting a Kurdish wedding, for a member of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, confirmed by local officials, in an effort to inflame ethnic tensions.

Gaziantep is known to have several ISIS cells. A suicide bomber believed to have links to ISIS killed two policemen in May.

This attack was the deadliest, however, in a series of bombings in Turkey this year, and President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that ISIS was likely behind it. Turkey faces multiple security threats from militants at home and from Syria.

The BBC's Seref Isler, who is from Gaziantep, says the city of 1.5 million was already on edge because of events in Syria, where ISIS has been battling Syrian Kurdish forces.

Previously, ISIS has been blamed for other attacks in Turkey, often targeting Kurdish gatherings. The deadliest one was last October, when suicide bombers killed more than 100 people at a rally of pro-Kurdish and labour activists in Ankara.

Saturday's attack comes with Turkey still in shock just a month after Erdogan and the government survived an attempted coup by rogue military officers, which Ankara blames on US-based Islamist preacher Fethullah Gulen. Gulen has denied the charge.