Suruc attack: At least 28 dead in suspected Isis suicide bombing on Turkish border town

The town is just 10km across the border from Kobani, a key battleground between Isis and Kurdish forces

Caroline Mortimer
Tuesday 21 July 2015 09:40 BST

A bomb has exploded in the Turkish town of Suruc near the Syrian border killing at least 28 people and wounding nearly 100 more.

The suicide bombing, which Turkish officials say is believed to have been carried out by Isis, happened at midday outside a cultural centre.

The town is situated just 10km across the border from Kobani in Syria, where Kurdish fighters have been locked in a fierce battle with Isis for control.

One senior official in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, told Reuters they believed the attack was a "retaliation for the Turkish government's efforts to fight terrorism".

One witness, who said his name was Mehmet, said: "I saw more than 20 bodies. I think the number of wounded is more than 50. They are still being put into ambulances. It was a huge explosion, we all shook."

Officials from the interior ministry have said they believe the death toll could rise.

Responding to claims in Turkish media that the bombing were carried out by an 18-year-old girl, the governor of Sanliurfa Province, Izzet Kucut told the BBC: "It is a suicide attacker but is she/he 18 years old? Who is she/he? We don't know yet. We will share the results of our investigation in due time."

The UK's ambassador to Turkey tweeted his support for Turkey in standing up against terror saying:

A group of students from the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations had been about to complete a trip to Kobani to build a library when on of them was injuried in the blast.

The student, Fatma Edemen, a 22-year-old journalism student at Ankara University, said she "was thrown to the ground" by the blast. She said she was "up and began running before I realised I was hurt."

The bomb attack came just a week after Turkey deployed additional troops along the border to prevent spillover from the fighting between Kurdish forces, rebel groups, Syrian government troops and Isis militants.

They have insisted they are not planning military action in Syria but are anxious to stop the chaos reigniting Kurdish separatist rebellion which has killed 40,000 people in Turkey since 1984.

Kobani was the site of one of the biggest battles between Isis and Kurdish forces last year. Kurdish forces were able to push the terrorist group out of the town with the help of US led air strikes but were enraged by the Turkish government's refusal to intervene at the time.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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