Turkey – Attacks – Probe

Turkey Seeks to Identify ISIS Child Suicide Bomber

Turkey Seeks to Identify ISIS Child Suicide Bomber
Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:11:50

Turkish authorities were on Monday scrambling to ascertain the identity of a child suicide bomber acting on the orders of Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL / IS) terrorists who killed 51 people at a crowded Kurdish wedding.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the bomber at the street wedding late Saturday in the city of Gaziantep close to Syria was aged “between 12 and 14” and that initial findings showed it had been “perpetrated by Daesh” (ISIS).

Media said the majority of those dead were children or teenagers, with 29 of the 44 victims identified so far aged under 18. At least 22 victims were under 14, a Turkish official added.

There were no further details on the bomber’s identity, but Erdogan said ISIS had been trying to “position itself” in Gaziantep which lies just 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Syria and is a major hub for refugees from the over five-year civil war.

The Hurriyet daily said that DNA tests were under way to ascertain the identity, nationality and gender of the bomber.

It is possible that the bomber had come over the border from Syria but ISIS is also known to have built homegrown cells inside Turkey in Gaziantep and even Istanbul, wrote its well-connected columnist Abdulkadir Selvi.

He said Turkish security forces believed that attack had been timed as retaliation by terrorists for offensives both by Kurdish militias and pro-Ankara Syrian opposition forces against ISIS in Syria.

“There’s a fight against ISIS but we are paying the price,” he wrote.

The leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas said in a statement that “all of those killed were Kurds.”

S/SH 11

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