54 people have been killed and over 65 people got injured in a suicide attack at a Kurdish wedding in Gazantiep, Turkey. The victims of the attack were mostly women and children.
Initially, President Erdogan of Turkey has claimed that, the attack was carried out by a child suicide bomber aged between 12 to 14, belonging to Islamic State. However, Turkey has now backtracked from this claim. Speaking to media, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said “We are not in a position to verify anything about who the perpetrator was – if it was a child, an adult, or for which organisation”.
As per the local media reports, the CCTV footage has revealed that, two adults along with a child arrived at the wedding. The two adults fled the scene. There is a possibility that, child has been used in the attack with or without the consent. There is also a possibility that a mentally disabled child has been used and the bomb was detonated remotely.
Islamic State has not claimed the responsibility for the attack but it is strongly suspected that actors from Islamic State are involved. The material used in the device is similar to that of 2015 Ankara peace rally attacks, which was also suspected to have been carried out by Islamic State. The Ankara bombing had claimed over 100 Kurdish lives. Islamic State has targeted Kurdish gatherings across Syria and Turkey as a revenge against successful military campaign by YPG fighters in Syria. YPG with the help of US airstrikes has been successful in reclaiming the territory back from Islamic State.
[Featured Image Credits: Osman Orsal/Reuters/Al-Jazeera]