At least 30 people have been killed and more than 90 wounded in an attack in southeastern Turkey, not far from its border with Syria:
— Mete Sohtaoğlu (@metesohtaoglu) August 21, 2016
The explosion in the university town of Gaziantep occurred when a large wedding party spilled out into the streets, and appears to have been the work of a suicide bomber:
The BBC reports that this, like many other in Turkey, may have been intended as a retaliatory strike by ISIS-linked militants who have been losing strategic ground in nearby northern Syria:
The BBC’s Seref Isler, who is from Gaziantep, said the attack “took place in a city that is already on edge because of what’s happening right across the border” but was even more shocking because a wedding party was targeted.
He said: “Weddings are in Turkey considered sacred and very happy occasions, so to intentionally turn it in to a bloodbath has received some very staunch criticism to say the least.
“Turkish society seems to have been horrified that this has targeted specifically a wedding, what should have been the happiest day of this couple’s lives.”
Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek called the bombing a “savage and brutal attack“. It is one of many deadly bombings in the region over the last year, which have been linked to either the Islamic State or Kurdish militants:
Three suspected ISIL suicide bombers killed 44 people at Istanbul’s main airport, Ataturk, in July, the deadliest in a string of attacks in Turkey this year.
Almost 40 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Ankara in March that was claimed by a Kurdish separatist group.
A video of the bombing’s aftermath showed rows of bodies, all covered by white sheets.