Suruc suicide attack: why is the Turkish border town near Kobane so important?

At least 28 people have been killed and 100 wounded in attack on town just 10km from Kobane

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The Independent Online

What happened?

At least 28 are dead and 100 wounded in what is being called the “bloodiest suicide attack in Turkey in years”.

The attack in the garden of Amara Cultural Centre in the town on the Turkey/Syria border is believed by Turkish officials to be the work of Isis.

The militant group is stepping up its attacks on the country following the government's deployment of extra troops to secure the border.

Why is Suruc important?

Suruc is just 10km over the Turkish-Syrian border from Kobane, the scene of intense fighting between Kurdish forces and Isis.

The town played a crucial role during the siege by sending vital food and medicine supplies over the border to Kurdish fighters. 

Isis suffered heavy losses when it was pushed from Kobane earlier this year but re-entered the city last month.

The Kurdish majority city is also home to one of the biggest refugee camps for Syrians who have already fled Isis’ advance. According to the Telegraph, the camp is home to 35,000 refugees and only opened in January.

Is this the first time the Turkish border has been targeted?

In the weeks leading up to Turkey’s general election last month, attacks on pro-Kurdish parties were stepped up. Two were killed in a double explosion at a rally for the People’s Democratic Party in Diyarbakir, around 220km from Suruc.

The worst attack in recent years was in May 2013 on another border town to the south, Reyhanli, where 51 people were killed in two bomb blasts which the Turkish government blamed on the Assad regime.