50 killed in Turkey wedding blast
ANKARA, AUGUST 21: At least 50 people were killed and over 90 others injured in an explosion at a wedding in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, the media reported on Sunday.
At least 17 of the injured were in critical condition following Saturday’s attack, Xinhua news agency quoted Health Minister Recep Akdag as saying.
The “terror attack” took place in Sahinbey district of Anatolia region which is about 95 km north of the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo, Anadolu News Agency reported.
The wedding took place on a street — a common practice in Turkey, especially during the summer season.
A video footage showed hundreds of people in the darkened street as rescue workers lifted victims into ambulances.
Orhan Akin, Gaziantep bureau chief for the Ihlas News Agency, told CNN Turk that he saw “at least 20 ambulances carrying injured people”.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, condemned the attack, saying: “Those who cannot overcome Turkey and try to provoke people by abusing ethnic and sectarian sensitiveness will not prevail.”
“Our country and nation only have a single message to those who attack us — you will not succeed!”
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Turkey will continue to combat all types of terrorism with determination.
Turkey has experienced significant turmoil in recent months, with the attempted military coup on July 15 and a series of deadly explosions, CNN said.
Past attacks have been carried out by the Islamic State (IS) militant group, which controls northern Syria across the border, and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
No group has yet claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack.
Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan says ISIS ‘likely perpetrator’ of Gaziantep attack
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said the ISIS jihadist group was the “likely perpetrator” of a bomb attack on a wedding in the southeastern city of Gaziantep that left at least 30 dead.
Erdogan said in a written statement that there was “no difference” between the group of US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen who he blames for a failed July 15 coup bid, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) “and ISIS, the likely perpetrator of the attack in Gaziantep”.
“Our country and our nation have again only one message to those who attack us — you will not succeed!” he said.
Erdogan added that PKK attacks on security forces had claimed 70 lives in the last month alone.
Erdogan said that the aim of attacks like Gaziantep was to sow division between different groups in Turkey such as Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen and “spread incitement along ethnic and religious lines.”
Turkey would not give in to the “provocation” of the Gaziantep attack and would instead show “unity, togetherness and brotherhood”, he said.
Ankara has long insisted there is no difference between the various “outlawed” terror groups it is fighting and has urged the West to take a tougher stance against the PKK.