Suicide bomber aged between 12 and 14, officials say

At least 51 people were killed when a suicide bomber aged between 12 and 14 attacked a wedding party in the Turkish city of Gaziantep late on Saturday, the president said.

The attack was the deadliest in a series of bombings in Turkey this year, and President Tayyip Erdogan said Islamic State was likely behind it.

“Initial evidence suggests it was a Daesh attack,” Erdogan said in Istanbul on Sunday, using an Arabic name for the hardline Sunni Islamist group. He said 69 people were in hospital and 17 were “heavily injured”.

A destroyed suicide vest was found at the blast site, officials said.

A family member of a victim of a suicide bombing at a wedding celebration mourn over his coffin during a funeral ceremony in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep, Turkey, August 21, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
A family member of a victim of a suicide bombing could not contain his grief (Photo: Reuters)

Islamic State has been blamed for other similar attacks in Turkey, often targeting Kurdish gatherings in an effort to inflame ethnic tensions. The deadliest was last October, when suicide bombers killed more than 100 people at a rally of pro-Kurdish and labour activists in Ankara.

Saturday’s attack comes with Turkey still in shock just a month after Erdogan and the government survived an attempted coup by rogue military officers, which Ankara blames on U.S.-based Islamist preacher Fethullah Gulen. Gulen has denied the charge.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said the wedding party was for one of its members. The groom was among those injured, but the bride was not hurt.

A family member of a victim of a suicide bombing at a wedding celebration mourn over a coffin during a funeral ceremony in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep, Turkey, August 21, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
A family member of a victim of a suicide bombing at a wedding celebration mourns over a coffin during a funeral ceremony (Photo: Reuters)

The bomb went off as guests spilled out into the streets of the city close to the Syrian border after the traditional henna night party, when guests have their hands and feet painted.

Women and children, including a three-month-old baby, were among the dead, witnesses said.

Blood and burn marks stained the walls of the narrow lane where the blast hit. Women in white and chequered scarves wept outside the morgue waiting for word on missing relatives.

“The celebrations were coming to an end and there was a big explosion among people dancing,” said 25-year-old Veli Can. “There was blood and body parts everywhere.”

“We want to end these massacres,” witness Ibrahim Ozdemir said. “We are in pain, especially the women and children.”

Hundreds gathered for funerals on Sunday, with coffins draped in the green of Islam. But some ceremonies would have to wait because many victims were blown to pieces and DNA tests would be needed to identify them, security sources said.

“Every type of death is painful. But it is even more painful when it comes with religious slogans. It is even more painful when they mix religion with politics,” said Omer Emlik, who said he was an uncle of two of the victims.

“All the people here are suffering.”

Anti-government protests erupted at at least one funeral, where threw plastic bottles and chanted “Murderer Erdogan!”

Some in Turkey feel the government has not done enough to protect its citizens from Islamic State.

 

Source: Reuters

3 Responses to Suicide bomber aged between 12 and 14, officials say

  1. Geoffrey David Bynoe
    Geoffrey David Bynoe August 22, 2016 at 6:44 am

    The sickness of Radical Islamic terrorism is that they would brainwash women and children into believing that they are doing something for God.

    Reply
  2. Shelly-Ann Caddle
    Shelly-Ann Caddle August 22, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Cuh Dear

    Reply
  3. jrsmith August 22, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Muslims + Islam is that dangerous cock tail which threatens the world , a generation war which will never end in the name of (Allah) with the various groups ,in the middle east and small cells in all western countries building every day we all have this frightening thought of when will it happen ..
    Its hard to realize that Muslims in our western countries, leads a 100% democratic lives better than they would in they middle east home lands ..

    We in the west goes on about radicalization of Muslims, thats mythical , is this any different than gangs which terrorises our western societies, the muslim kids from the time they can read they are studying the (Quran) when they kids nearing 10 or before ,they can recite the (Quran from front to back , this to Muslims is like a degree the only thing is missing is in the name of ( Allah)..

    Reply

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