‘IS bomber’ kills 50 at wed­ding

The Myanmar Times - - World -

AT least 50 peo­ple were killed in a south­east­ern Turk­ish city close to Syria when a sus­pected sui­cide bomber linked to Is­lamic State ji­hadists at­tacked a wed­ding thronged with guests, of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day.

Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan said the IS ex­trem­ist group was the “likely per­pe­tra­tor” of the bomb at­tack in Gaziantep late on Au­gust 20 that tar­geted a cel­e­bra­tion at­tended by many Kurds.

The ex­plo­sion was the lat­est at­tack to rock the key NATO mem­ber in a hor­rific year that has seen strikes blamed on Kur­dish and Is­lamist mil­i­tants as well as a bloody botched coup on July 15.

Mr Er­do­gan said there was “no dif­fer­ence” be­tween the group of US-based preacher Fethul­lah Gulen whom he blames for the failed coup bid, the out­lawed Kur­dis­tan Work­ers Party (PKK) “and Daesh [the IS], the likely per­pe­tra­tor of the at­tack in Gaziantep”.

The Do­gan news agency said the bride and groom were from the mainly Kur­dish re­gion of Si­irt fur­ther to the east and had them­selves been up­rooted due to the flare-up in vi­o­lence with Kur­dish mil­i­tants.

The pro-Kur­dish Peo­ples’ Demo­cratic Party (HDP) said its mem­bers had been present at the wed­ding, which was also at­tended by many women and chil­dren.

The Hur­riyet daily said the bride and groom were in hos­pi­tal but their lives were not in dan­ger.

Mr Er­do­gan said the aim of such

at­tacks was to sow di­vi­sion be­tween dif­fer­ent groups in Turkey such as Arabs, Kurds and Turk­men and to “spread in­cite­ment along eth­nic and re­li­gious lines”.

Many ji­hadists see Kurds as one of their main en­e­mies, with Kur­dish mili­tias play­ing a sig­nif­i­cant role in the fight against the IS on the ground in Syria. –

Peo­ple carry an in­jured man at the site of the ex­plo­sion on Au­gust 20 in Gaziantep fol­low­ing a late-night mil­i­tant at­tack on a wed­ding party in south­east­ern Turkey.

Photo: AFP

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