Turkey Wedding Bombing Kills 51; Bomber Identified as Child

Officials Blame ISIS for Attack Targeting Kurdish Civilians

by Jason Ditz, August 21, 2016

A Saturday suicide attack against a wedding party in the southern Turkish city of Gazientep has seen its death toll continue to rise overnight. At least 51 people have now been killed, with another 69 wounded, many seriously so.

There has still been no official claim of responsibility, though officials have identified the suicide bomber as a child of approximately 12. The government is saying they believe the attack was carried out by ISIS, as Gazientep is not far north of the Syrian border, into an area controlled by ISIS.

ISIS tends not to take credit for its attacks inside Turkey. Local officials say that the wedding was heavily attended by the Kurdish minority, including members of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), raising speculation that the attack was designed to add to ethnic tensions in the country.

Funeral-goers for the victims of the bombing were said to have loudly criticized President Erdogan, with many locals complaining that ISIS had a presence in the city for years and that the government had mostly ignored them, not taking serious precautions.

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