IS child bomber claims ‘just rumours’
TURKEY went back on claims that a child bomber linked to Islamic State (IS) jihadists carried out a deadly suicide bombing close to Syria, saying it actually had no clue who was behind the attack.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Ankara could not confirm who was the perpetrator of the attack on a Kurdish wedding in the city of Gaziantep which left 54 dead.
The statement contradicted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who had said it was a child bomber acting on IS orders.
“We do not have a clue about who the perpetrators behind the attack were. Early information on who did the attack, in what organisation’s name, is unfortunately not right,” Mr Yildirim said on August 22.
His comments were in contrast with those by Mr Erdogan who had said that the bomber was a child aged between 12 and 14.
Mr Yildirim described as “rumours” whether the attack was conducted by a child or an adult, while insisting security agencies would continue their work to find out who was responsible.
“Those who were behind the attack will be revealed, there is no doubt about this.”
The Hurriyet daily said DNA tests were being done to ascertain the bomber’s identity and gender.
Earlier, Turkish press reports said security forces believed the attack had been timed as retaliation by jihadists for offensives both by Kurdish militias and pro-Ankara Syrian opposition forces against IS in Syria.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, hundreds of rebels were preparing inside Turkish territory to launch an offensive on the IS-held Syrian town of Jarablus.
Without explicitly confirming the rebel offensive, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey backed anyone fighting against IS.
“Our border must be completely cleansed from Daesh,” he said in televised remarks, using an Arabic acronym for the IS group.
The majority of those killed were children or teenagers, with 29 of the 44 victims identified so far aged under 18. –
A woman weeps at the morgue as she waits for the coffin of a relative, killed during the attack on a wedding party which left 54 dead in Gaziantep, on August 21.