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‘IS child bomber’ kills at least 51 at Turkish wedding

A suicide bomber as young as 12 killed at least 51 people at a wedding in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday, pointing the finger at the Islamic State group.

Erdogan said Saturday’s blast in Gaziantep near the Syria border “was the result of a suicide bomber aged between 12 and 14 who either detonated (the bomb) or others detonated it.” The explosion was the latest attack to rock the key NATO member in a horrific  year that has seen strikes blamed on Kurdish and Islamist militants as well as a bloody July 15 botched coup.

The president said the Islamic State group was the “likely perpetrator” of the bomb attack, the deadliest in 2016, that targeted a celebration attended by many Kurds.

The remains of a suicide vest were found at the scene, the chief prosecutor’s office said Sunday according to broadcaster CNN-Turk.

Gulser Ates, one of scores wounded in the attack, told Hurriyet the attack took place as the party was breaking up.

“We were sitting on chairs, having a chat with one of our neighbours.

“During the explosion, the neighbour died on top of me. I remember being underneath. If my neighbour hadn’t fallen on top of me, I would have died,” she said.

“The bride and groom’s happiest day was poisoned.” Another resident in Gaziantep told Dogan news agency he saw many dead bodies and body parts including a “head, arm, hand scattered on the ground”.

The bride and groom -- Besna and Nurettin Akdogan -- were rushed to hospital but were not seriously wounded. - AFP
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