Turkey wedding bomb: Death toll rises to 50 after 'Isis' terror attack as suicide vest found at blast scene

Explosion is the deadliest to hit the country this year

The late-night attack happened in Gaziantep in the south east
The late-night attack happened in Gaziantep in the south east

At least 50 people have been killed in an explosion at a wedding in Turkey, following what is thought to have been a suicide attack carried out by Isis.

People were dancing when an explosion ripped through the celebrations on Saturday in the city of Gaziantep, in the volatile south east near the border with Syria.

President Tayyip Erdogan said it was likely Isis were behind the late-night attack.

The prosecutor's office said a destroyed suicide vest had been discovered at the scene.

And the local governor's office said at least 50 people had been killed 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 witness 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 while 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 unidentifiable.

Ambulances arrive at the site of the explosion

DNA forensics tests would be needed to identify them, security sources said.

Mahmut Togrul, a lawmaker for HDP (The pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Union) from Gaziantep, around 40 km north of the border with Syria, told Reuters it was a Kurdish wedding.

Isis has been blamed for suicide bombings on Kurdish gatherings in the past, as militants attempt to stir ethnic tensions.

People were dancing when the bomb exploded

"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 US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen. He has denied the charge.

Three suspected Isis suicide bombers killed 44 people at Istanbul's main airport in June, then the deadliest in a string of attacks in Turkey this year.

In October last 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.

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.

Additional reporting by Reuters

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in