Published: Mon, August 22, 2016
World | By Carl Welch

At least 30 dead, 94 injured in Turkey wedding bombing

At least 30 dead, 94 injured in Turkey wedding bombing

Turkey's president says the suicide bomber in the wedding party attack that killed dozens was between 12 and 14 years old.

The governor's office for the province of Gaziantep said 94 people were wounded in Saturday's attack in the city of Gaziantep.

In Gaziantep, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek and the country's health minister visited the wounded and the site of the attack.

Erdogan said there is "no difference" between the IS, which is based in neighboring Syria, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party and Fetullah Terrorist Organization, founded by USA -based cleric Fethullah Gulen, state-run Anadolu Agency reported Sunday.

In a written statement published by local media (in Turkish), Mr Erdogan argued there was "no difference" between IS, the Kurdish militants of the PKK, and followers of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom he blames for the coup attempt last month.

Nearly 40 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Ankara in March that was claimed by a Kurdish group.

A Kurdish wedding in Turkey ended in tragedy when a suicide bomber attacked.

"This is a massacre of unprecedented cruelty and barbarism", he told reporters.

Some families had already left when the bomb went off but women and children were among the dead, witnesses said. "No matter what this treacherous terror organization is called, we as the people, the state and the government will pursue our determined struggle against it", he said.

The bride and groom were among the injured, although their condition was not critical, Anadolu reported, citing hospital officials.

IS forces have also regularly shelled the frontier town of Kilis throughout this year, in cross-border attacks from Syria which the Turkish authorities seem unable to stop.

"We condemn the traitors who organized and carried out this attack", he said, vowing that those responsible would be "brought to account".

Just weeks ago, Erdogan and his government survived an attempted coup, which Ankara blames on USA -based Islamist preacher Fethullah Gulen.

Even before the attempted July 15 coup, Turkey had experienced a year of bloodshed and political turmoil, weathering a string of deadly bomb blasts, blamed variously on ISIS and the PKK. "They will not yield", he said. Gulen has denied the accusation.

Meanwhile, Erdogan continues his crack down on opponents with thousands more arrested after the government released nearly 40,000 people who were being held.

Hundreds of residents had gathered near the site chanting "Allah is great" as well as slogans denouncing attacks.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, or HDP, said in a statement that the wedding was for one of its members, and women and children had been among those killed. We are sad and in pain.

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