Dead As Bomb Hits Kurdish Wedding in Southern Turkey

The family learned later Sunday morning that Hakki's killer was between age 12 and 14. "If my neighbour hadn't fallen on top of me, I would have died", she said.

"Those who can not overcome Turkey, and try to provoke people by abusing ethnic and sectarian sensitiveness, will not prevail", Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in Istanbul yesterday.

World leaders condemned the suicide bombing, with French President Francois Hollande denouncing the "vile" incident and German Chancellor Angela Merkel calling the attack "cowardly and underhand".

In October past year, suicide bombers killed at least 95 people when they attacked a rally of pro-Kurdish and labour activists outside Ankara's main train station. "Security operations have been conducted and are still being conducted against the terrorist organization".

Kurdish militants, who for decades have conducted attacks against the Turkish government in their quest for independence, have become key American allies in the battle against ISIS.

By late Sunday afternoon, at least 43 of the victims had been buried, following Islamic tradition.

At least 12 people were buried on Sunday, but other funerals would have to wait because numerous victims were blown to pieces and DNA forensics tests would be needed to identify them, security sources said. Turkish media reported that the bride and groom were injured, but were not in critical condition.

Hundreds gathered for funerals yesterday, some weeping at coffins draped in the green color of Islam, local television images showed.

Some witnesses describing the scene say, blood and burns marked the walls of the narrow lane where the blast hit. "Nothing but body parts", Sukru Akdogan, the groom's brother, told Anadolu. "Just a regular wedding party", Hamdullah Ceyhan told the state-run Anadolu Agency.

Turkey's president has blamed the Islamic State group for the bombing in the southeastern city of Gaziantep, near the border with Syria.

He said there were a number of reasons the Sunni terror group - if it is responsible for the attack - could have been motivated to strike Kurdish targets. IS see Kurds as enemies due to the prominent role of Kurdish militias in fighting the jihadists.

"The ruling party's hate speech, discriminating and dividing attitudes in democratic political arenas, furnishes the conditions for such attacks", read the HDP statement.

The city of Gaziantep, home to around 1.6 million people, is regarded as having the largest presence of jihadists of any major Turkish city.

Turkey's president says the suicide bomber in the wedding party attack that killed dozens was between 12 and 14 years old.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the Gaziantep blast.

Islamic State is also fighting USA -backed Syrian Kurdish rebels, who have taken ground from the hardline group.

Violence flared up again this week in the largely Kurdish southeast, with bomb attacks leaving 10 people dead in separate attacks, mostly police and soldiers, in an escalation that officials blamed on the PKK, Kurdish separatists militants. Gulen has denied any involvement.

Gurcan said in an email to The Associated Press that IS has been trying to agitate or exploit ethnic and religious tensions in Turkey, and "we know very well to what extent wedding attacks can sow disorder in nation's social fabric from the Afghanistan experience".

US Vice President Joe Biden will visit Turkey on Wednesday, with Turkey's demand for Gulen's extradition to be top of the agenda.

Turkey is still tense after an attempted coup on July 15 which Ankara blames on US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen.

In the most recent attacks, 11 people were killed and hundreds injured in three bombings targeting security forces in eastern Turkey last week. The Turkish government blamed the PKK.



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