‘IS bomber’ kills 50 at wedding
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.