Reuters, by Orhan Coskun and Daren ButlerAug. 22, 2016:
Turkey vowed on Monday to “completely cleanse” Islamic State militants from its border region, after a suspected suicide bomber with links to the group killed 54 people, including 22 children, at a Kurdish wedding.
Saturday’s attack in the southeastern city of Gaziantep is the deadliest in Turkey this year. It was carried out by a suicide bomber aged between 12 and 14, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday, adding that initial evidence pointed to Islamic State.
A senior security official told Reuters the device used was the same type as those employed in the July 2015 suicide attack in the border town of Suruc and the October 2015 suicide bombing of a rally of pro-Kurdish activists in Ankara.
Both of those attacks were blamed on Islamic State. The group has targeted Kurdish gatherings in an apparent effort to further inflame ethnic tensions strained by a long Kurdish insurgency. The Ankara bombing was the deadliest of its kind in Turkey, killing more than 100 people.
“Daesh should be completely cleansed from our borders and we are ready to do what it takes for that,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a news conference in Ankara, using an Arabic name for the group.
A senior rebel official said Turkish-backed Syrian rebels were preparing to launch an attack to seize the Syrian town of Jarablus from Islamic State on the border with Turkey, a move that would deny control to advancing Syrian Kurdish fighters.
Turkish authorities have said a destroyed suicide vest was found at the scene of the bombing.
A second security official told Reuters that they were investigating the possibility militants could have placed the explosives on the child without his or her knowledge and detonated them remotely, or that a mentally disabled child was duped into carrying the device, a tactic seen elsewhere in the region.
“It could be that someone was loaded with explosives without even being aware of it and it may have been detonated remotely,” the official said, adding a search was underway for suspected militants who may have played a reconnaissance role.
In the latest southeast violence, two Turkish security force members and five PKK militants were killed in clashes and attacks in three areas of eastern Turkey over the last 24 hours, officials said.
Some in Turkey, particularly in the Kurdish southeast, feel the government has not done enough to protect its citizens from Islamic State.
The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said the wedding party was for one of its members. The groom was among those injured, but the bride was not hurt.
Jeanine Pirro interviews Brooke Goldstein on the inhumanity of using child suicide bombers:
- From celebrating a wedding to digging graves for a funeral: ISIS bomber aged just 12 who killed 51 at a marriage ceremony in Turkey ‘was blown up by REMOTE CONTROL’ (dailymail.co.uk)
How Young Can a Suicide Bomber Be? (clarionproject.org)
WATCH: Boy Suicide Bomber Stripped of Explosive Belt in Iraq (breitbart.com)