Attack on wedding party in southern Turkey kills 50 people

A suspected suicide bombing at an outdoor wedding celebration in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep has left 50 people dead and dozens wounded, the provincial governor said Sunday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Islamic State terrorist group, which controls large swathes of territory across the border in Syria, was likely behind the Saturday night attack.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party said the bombing tore through a wedding party for one of the political group's members, adding that women and children were killed.

Images from the scene showed at least one structure on fire, bodies covered in blankets, and blood on the street and walls. Videos posted on social media also showed the chaos, with people using the light on their mobile phones to find victims.

Erdogan condemned the bloodshed, saying that those who "provoke people by exploiting ethnic and sectarian sensitivities will not prevail," according to state broadcaster TRT.

Prosecutors told the Dogan news agency that the remains of an explosive vest had been found.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack, which occurred in a largely Kurdish-inhabited area of Gaziantep.

The provincial governor's office said in their latest statement that 50 people had died but did not update the number of wounded, which had stood at 94 early Sunday.

Gaziantep, a city of 1.5 million people in south-central Turkey, is about 40 kilometres from the Syrian border.

The Islamic State has been ceding ground to US-backed Kurdish-led forces and recently lost Minbij, a key city near the border with Turkey, shrinking its areas of control.

Islamic State was blamed for an attack in May that killed two police officers in Gaziantep. The group has also been held responsible for other attacks in the country, including several in Istanbul.

In June, more than 40 people were killed in an attack at the city's airport blamed on the extremist group.

Turkey is also facing conflict in the south-east with Kurdish militants.

In depth coverage

Turkey says child bomber behind wedding party attack that killed 51

The suicide bomber who attacked a wedding party in Gaziantep, near the border with Syria, was between the age of 12 and 14 years, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday.

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Last update: Sun, 21/08/2016 - 19:25
Last update: Sun, 21/08/2016 - 15:03

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