Thursday, January 27

Bomb Blast at Wedding party In Turkey: Killed At Least 50 people


 

 

At least 50 people have been killed in a “barbaric” suicide bomb blast at a wedding in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, authorities say.

Another 94 people were injured in the explosion, which a regional official in southern Turkey has described as a terror attack.

Photos from the scene in the Sahinbey district of Gaziantep show a packed street with several bodies covered in white sheets.

Veli Can, 25, said: “The celebrations were coming to an end and there was a big explosion among people dancing.

“There was blood and body parts everywhere.”

At least 12 victims have already been buried but other funerals have been delayed because identification is difficult, as many of the bodies were blown apart.

Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek visited the site of the attack, which he described as “a massacre of unprecedented cruelty and barbarism”.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Islamic State militants were the “likely perpetrator(s)” of the bombing.

Gaziantep is just 37 miles north of the Syrian border but, as well as becoming home to many Syrians fleeing their country’s civil war, there are fears it has also started to become a home for jihadists.

Some security officials have also blamed Kurdish militants for the wedding attack.

But the area of the city where the wedding was held is said to have a large number of Kurdish residents and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said the wedding was for one of its members.

Kurds are also playing a major role in fighting Islamic State in Syria, causing speculation that Islamic State was indeed to blame for the bomb.

Mr Erdogan said the aim of the bombing was to divide Turkey’s different groups, such as Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen and “spread incitement along ethnic and religious lines”.

“Our country and our nation have again only one message to those who attack us – you will not succeed,” he added.

Turkey has suffered a series of attacks claimed by IS or Kurdish militants linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, known by its acronym PKK, in recent months.

Last month the country was shaken by an attempted coup launched by rogue elements of the military.

Thousands have since been arrested or sacked in the military, police, civil service, judiciary and academia in a crackdown on what President Erdogan calls a vast terrorist conspiracy.

More than 200 people were killed in the failed coup that Mr Erdogan says was organised by a former ally, exiled Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Three suspected IS suicide bombers also killed 44 people at Istanbul’s main airport in July.