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Dublin: 4 °C Sunday 15 December, 2019

Isis blamed for attack that killed 30 and left 100 injured in Turkish town

If confirmed, today’s bombing would be the first such attack by IS fighters against Turkey

Dead bodies covered by newspapers at the site of the explosion.
Dead bodies covered by newspapers at the site of the explosion.
Image: Associated Press

Updated at 11.02pm

INITIAL INVESTIGATIONS INDICATE Islamic State militants were responsible for a suicide bomb which killed 30 people in a town near the Syrian border today, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said.

“Preliminary findings point to it being a suicide attack carried out by Daesh,” Davutoglu told a news conference in Ankara, using an Arabic name for IS.

“But we are not at a point to make a final judgement.”

Davutoglu said the bomber had not yet been identified.

The bomb attack ripped through a cultural centre in Suruc, a town opposite the Syrian flashpoint of Kobane, leaving 30 people dead and 104 wounded.

Davutoglu denounced it as a “clearly terrorist attack” which targeted Turkey’s peace, democracy and public order.

“This attack targets us all,” he said, urging all political parties and people to demonstrate unity.

Turkey Explosion Medics carry out a body after today's explosion. Source: Associated Press

Most of the dead were university students who had been planning a mission to help Kobane residents, according to a pro-Kurdish party official.

The force of the explosion blew out the windows of the building and set off a blaze, witnesses said.

Television footage showed several people lying on the ground covered in blood and ambulances rushing to the scene.

If confirmed, today’s attack would be the first such attack by IS fighters against Turkey, a regional military power and NATO member.

The blast took place as an anti-IS group based at the cultural centre was preparing to announce a mission to Kobane.

Alp Altinors from the pro-Kurdish HDP party said the group from the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations was made up of about 300 people, mainly university students from across Turkey.

“They were planning to build parks in Kobane, hand out toys for children and paint school walls,” he told AFP.

‘Targeting Turkey’s unity’ 

“The town is in chaos. Almost all the shops are closed in Suruc,” local resident Mehmet Celik told AFP.

Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the “barbaric act” and said in a statement: “Fighting terrorism requires an active cooperation from the whole international community.”

In Kobane, a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb at a checkpoint, killing two members of Kurdish security forces, according to Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Kobane has been a symbol of resistance against the jihadists since IS fighters were driven out by Syrian Kurdish forces in January.

- © AFP, 2015

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