Boy bomber blows up at wedding in Turkey, kills 51

Boy bomber blows up at wedding in Turkey, kills 51

Deadliest attack this year

Boy bomber blows up at wedding in Turkey, kills 51

 An Islamic State group suicide bomber, as young as 12 years, attacked an outdoor Kurdish wedding party in southeastern Turkey, killing at least 51 people, the Turkish president said on Sunday.

 The bombing, late on Saturday night in Gaziantep near Turkey’s border with Syria, was the deadliest attack in Turkey this year.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking live on national television in front of Istanbul’s city hall, said the attacker was aged between 12 and 14. He said 69 people were wounded, with 17 of them in critical condition.

“It was clear that Daesh had such an organisation in Gaziantep or was attempting to make room for itself in recent times,” Erdogan said, using an alternative acronym for IS.

A bus driver who shuttled some of the guests from Siirt to Gaziantep said that he couldn’t believe the party was targeted.

“This was a wedding party. Just a regular wedding party,” Hamdullah Ceyhan said. “This attack was deplorable. How did they do such a thing?” he added.

Turkey has been rocked by a wave of attacks in the past year that have either been claimed by Kurdish militants linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), or were blamed on IS.

In June, suspected IS militants attacked Istanbul’s main airport with guns and bombs, killing 44 people. A dual suicide bombing blamed on IS at a peace rally in Turkey’s capital, Ankara, in October killed 103.

The attack comes as the country is still reeling from the last month’s failed coup attempt, which the government has blamed on US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen and his followers. Gulen denies any involvement.

Earlier, Erdogan said there was “absolutely no difference” between IS, Kurdish rebels and Gulen’s movement, calling them terrorist groups.

“These bloodthirsty organisations and the powers behind them have neither the will nor power to silence the calls to prayer, lower the flag, divide our motherland and break up our nation,” he added.

‘Group blamed for coup infiltrated India’

Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organisation (FETO), blamed for last month’s failed coup to topple President Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey, has “infiltrated” India, according to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. Asserting that FETO is “secretive transnational criminal network” with presence around the world, Cavusoglu said, “Unfortunately, FETO has also infiltrated India through associations and schools.”

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