A suspected Islamic State child suicide bomber massacred at least 50 wedding guests dancing in a Turkey street.
President Tayyip Erdogan blamed the murders on Islamic State and said the killer, who wore an explosive belt, was between the ages of 12 and 14.
The sickening attack is the deadliest bombing this year in Turkey, which faces threats from militants at home and across the border with neighbouring Syria.
The country’s President Tayyip Erdogan said militants had carried out the late-night attack Gaziantep on Saturday.
The local governor’s office said in a statement 50 people were killed in the bombing, and more wounded were still being treated in hospitals around the province.
“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.”
Blood stains and burns marked the walls of the narrow lane where the wedding party was attacked while women in white and checkered scarves cried sitting crosslegged and waiting outside the morgue for word on missing relatives.
At least 12 people were buried on Sunday, but other funerals would have to wait because many of the victims were blown to pieces and DNA forensics tests would be needed to identify them, security sources said.
The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, or HDP, said in a statement that the wedding was for one of its members, and women and children had been among those killed.
Mahmut Togrul, an HDP lawmaker from Gaziantep, around 40 km (25 miles) north of the border with Syria, told Reuters it was a Kurdish wedding.
Islamic State has been blamed for suicide bombings on Kurdish gatherings in the past as militants try to
stir ethnic tensions.
“It was carried out like an atrocity,” witness Ibrahim Ozdemir said. “We want to end these massacres. We are in pain, especially the women and children.”
Turkey is still tense after an attempted coup on July 15 which Ankara blames on U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen.
He has denied the charge.
— Ihtisham ul Haq (@iihtishamm) August 20, 2016
Bombings have torn at the fabric of Turkey which is seen by Western allies as an important ally and buffer against instability in Syria and Iraq.
Three suspected Islamic State suicide bombers killed 44 people at Istanbul’s main airport in July, the deadliest in a string of attacks in Turkey this year.
Almost 40 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Ankara in March that was claimed by a Kurdish group.
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