Turkish President says wedding bomber that killed 50 was between 12 and 14
GAZIANTEP, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s president says the suicide bomber in the wedding party attack that killed dozens was between 12 and 14 years old.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave the information in a live nationally-televised address in front of Istanbul city Hall.
At least 50 people were killed and dozens of others wounded in the attack late Saturday in the southeastern city of Gaziantep. Erdogan blamed the Islamic State group for the attack.
A pro-Kurdish political party has condemned the attack on a Kurdish wedding party in southeastern Turkey that killed at least 50 people and wounded dozens of others.
The People’s Democratic Party, or HDP, blamed Islamic State for the attack in Gaziantep after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said the extremist group was behind the bombing.
The HDP said “we condemn and curse the ones who launched this attack, both the forces and ideology behind their actions.”
The party also suggested that IS carried out the attack hours after another Kurdish political party announced plans to negotiate to try to end a three-decade conflict between Kurdish militants and the Turkish government.
The U.S. ambassador to Turkey has condemned the “barbaric attack” on an outdoor wedding party that killed 50 and wounded dozens of others.
John Bass said “we stand by our ally Turkey and pledge to continue to work closely together to defeat the common threat of terrorism.”
Turkey’s president has blamed the Islamic State group for the bombing in the southeastern city of Gaziantep, near the border with Syria.
Pope Francis has led hundreds of people in silent prayer for the victims of the Turkish wedding attack.
At his weekly Sunday noontime blessing, Francis said he had heard the “sad news” of the attack. After a moment of silent prayer, Francis led tourists and pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square in reciting the Ave Maria.
He concluded by asking “for the gift of peace for everyone.”
Officials say Saturday’s attack in Gaziantep, near Syria’s border, appeared to be a suicide bombing.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a statement early Sunday saying that IS was “the most likely perpetrator of the Gaziantep attack.”
Erdogan said there was “absolutely no difference” between IS, Kurdish rebels and the movement of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, calling them terrorist groups.
Turkey has seen a spate of attacks in recent months and a failed military coup on July 15, which the government blames on Gulen’s movement. Gulen denies any involvement.