Bomb at wedding in Turkey claims lives; officials suspect terrorism

UPDATE:  22 killed, 94 injured in bomb attack at wedding in southern Turkey

An explosion Saturday at a wedding ceremony in Gaziantep, a city in southern Turkey, killed and injured several people, Turkish broadcaster NTV reported, saying it was likely a suicide bomber.

Samil Tayyar, a Gaziantep member of parliament from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said there were many injured and the main suspect was the Islamic State extremist group, the Dogan news agency reported. 

Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek condemned the attack, saying it could have been carried out by a suicide attacker. 

Ambulances were rushed to the scene and police cordoned off the area. Social media videos showed chaos as people used the light on their mobile phones to find victims, with many bloodied people on the ground. 

The wedding ceremony was taking place outdoors in central Gaziantep province, near the border with Syria, where the Islamic State holds territory. The extremist group has been ceding ground to United States-backed Kurdish-led forces.

Local officials noted the attack was in a largely Kurdish-inhabited area of Gaziantep.  

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was being updated about the situation, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported. 

Islamic State was blamed for an attack in May killing 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

Attack on wedding party in southern Turkey kills 50 people

A bomb at a wedding ceremony in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep killed 22 people and injured 94, the local governor's office said, calling it a "terror attack," and one official said the Islamic State extremist group was to blame.

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Last update: Sun, 21/08/2016 - 15:03
Last update: Sun, 21/08/2016 - 01:26
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