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

Dozens killed, injured in bombing on Turkish wedding


In a Twitter message, a parliamentary deputy from the ruling AK Party said Islamic State militants were believed to be behind the attack.

According to Newsweek, ISIS has been to blame for other attacks in Turkey, which often target Kurdish gatherings.

Turkey has been criticised by western governments for failing to properly secure its border, and recent reports in national media outlets have claimed that police in Gaziantep stopped tracking the Islamic State jihadists responsible for attacks in Ankara and Suruc previous year because of a legal issue.

The suicide bombing follows a June attack on Istanbul's main airport where IS suspects killed 44 people.

"Initial evidence suggests it was a Daesh attack", Erdogan said, using an alternative acronym for IS. Now Syrian rebel groups are reported to be preparing an assault on Jarabulus, a border crossing and town of crucial importance to Islamic State, which lies 65km southeast of Gaziantep.

In the most recent attacks, 11 people were killed and hundreds injured in three bombings targeting security forces in eastern Turkey last week. At least 51 people are dead and scores of others wounded, reports The Associated Press.

With 69 people still in hospital, 17 in a critical condition, the HDP said warnings about ISIS's growing foothold in Gaziantep had fallen on deaf ears.

It said in a statement that it was "quite significant" that the attack, which it also blamed on IS, came hours after the Kurdistan Communities Union, a militant organization that includes the PKK, announced plans to try to negotiate to end a three-decade conflict between Kurdish militants and the Turkish government.

The death toll from Saturday night's attack is expected to rise, potentially making it the second deadliest terrorist attack in Turkey's history.

John Bass said "we stand by our ally Turkey and pledge to continue to work closely together to defeat the common threat of terrorism".

The blast occurred in the Beybahce neighborhood of Gaziantep's Sahinbey district at about around 10:50 p.m. Saturday, according to the Gaziantep governor's office. Syrian activists and journalists opposing Islamic State have been gunned down on the city's streets in broad daylight and dozens of jihadists have been killed and detained in police raids on Islamic State cell houses across the city.

Over 200 guests piled into a street in the city of Gaziantep in the nation's Sahinbey district, near the Syrian border, to celebrate the Kurdish street wedding now enfolding when the blast occurred somewhere around 11 p.m. local time say local witnesses.

Turkey is still reeling from a failed coup attempt and a summer of terrorist attacks that have rocked the nation. PKK militants attack government security forces and police nearly daily. "We. are united against all terror organizations". Gulen denies any involvement. "They will not yield".

Erdogan said there was "absolutely no difference" between IS, Kurdish rebels and the movement of US -based cleric Fethullah Gulen, calling them terrorist groups. One participant, shop owner Ercan Yilmaz, 36, told the AP it was "always those kinds of people being targeted - a Kurdish wedding party, opposition groups or people calling for peace in Ankara", referring to the peace rally attacked in October.

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