Su­ruc blast: At least 31 killed in “ter­ror­ist at­tack,” ex­plo­sion hits Kobane min­utes later

The Kurdish Globe - - News -

A sui­cide bomber at­tacked a cul­tural cen­tre host­ing anti-Is­lamic State ac­tivists in a Turk­ish town near the bor­der with Syria, killing at least 31 peo­ple and in­jur­ing more than 200. The at­tack was blamed on the IS.

The blast ripped through a cul­tural cen­tre in Su­ruc, a town op­po­site the Syr­ian flash­point of Kobane — which was hit shortly af­ter­wards by a sui­cide car bomb­ing.

The force of the ex­plo­sion in Su­ruc smashed the win­dows of the build­ings in the cen­tre of the city and set off a fire, wit­nesses said.

Tele­vi­sion footage showed sev­eral peo­ple ly­ing on the ground cov­ered in blood and am­bu­lances rush­ing to the scene.

Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Ah­met Davu­to­glu said ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tions in­di­cated Is­lamic State (IS) mil­i­tants were re­spon­si­ble.

"Pre­lim­i­nary find­ings point to a sui­cide at­tack car­ried out by Daesh," Davu­to­glu told a news con­fer­ence in Ankara, us­ing an Ara­bic name for IS.

"But we are not at a point to make a fi­nal judg­ment."

Turk­ish pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan, on a visit to north­ern Cyprus, con- demned the at­tack as an "act of terror".

"On be­half of my peo­ple, I curse and con­demn the per­pe­tra­tors of this bru­tal­ity," he said.

"Terror must be con­demned no mat­ter where it comes from."

The in­te­rior min­istry vowed to find the per­pe­tra­tors as soon as pos­si­ble and bring them to jus­tice.

"We call on ev­ery­one to stand to­gether and re­main calm in the face of this ter­ror­ist at­tack which tar­gets the unity of our coun­try," the min­istry said in a state­ment.

Kobane blast strength­ens sus­pi­cions of IS link

An of­fi­cial, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity, said the deadly at­tack in Kobane "strength­ens our sus­pi­cions" that the IS group were re­spon­si­ble.

A sui­cide bomber det­o­nated a car bomb at a check­point in Kobane's south, with two Kur­dish forces killed in the ex­plo­sion, the Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights said.

Pervin Bul­dan, a se­nior law­maker from the proKur­dish HDP op­po­si­tion party, said the Su­ruc blast hap­pened as Turk­ish and Kur­dish youths gath­ered at the cul­tural cen­tre ahead of a planned trip to the town of Kobane, which was se­cured by Syr­ian Kur­dish fight­ers last month af­ter an as­sault by the IS mil­i­tants.

The group, known as the Fed­er­a­tion of So­cial­ist Youth As­so­ci­a­tions, had been plan­ning the trip to build a li­brary, plant a for­est and build a play­ground in the town, Fatma Ede­men, a mem­ber of the group who was wounded in the blast, said.

A video posted on Face­book by one of the group of youth ac­tivists showed at least 20 peo­ple ly­ing on the ground, some still alive.

Sources in Prime Min­is­ter Ah­met Davu­to­glu's of­fice said he had or­dered deputy Prime Min­is­ter Nu­man Kur­tul­mus, as well as the in­te­rior and labour min­is­ters, to go to Su­ruc.

The ex­plo­sion came weeks af­ter Tur­key de­ployed ad­di­tional troops and equip­ment along parts of its bor­der with Syria, con­cerned about the risk of spillover as fight­ing be­tween Kur­dish forces, rebel groups, Syr­ian gov­ern­ment troops and the Is­lamic State mil­i­tants in­ten­si­fied.

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