No fewer than 50 people have been killed and about 94 more injured in an explosion at a wedding ceremony in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, Turkey, along the Syrian border, Al Jazeera reports.
According to Ali Yerlikaya, the governor of Gaziantep, the blast which occurred at around 11pm local time on Saturday in the Akdere neighbourhood of Sahin Bey district, was an act of terror. Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Mehmet Simsek said that the explosion appeared to have been caused by a suicide bomber.
Yerlikaya said ambulances were dispatched to the scene to help carry the dead and wounded people to hospitals.
Although no group has taken responsibility for the attack, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said “Daesh is the likely perpetrator of the attack”, using the Arabic name for the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) group.
“Our country and our nation have again only one message to those who attack us: You will not succeed!” he added.
Similarly, Samil Tayyar, a member of parliament from the governing Justice and Development Party, blamed ISIL, also known as ISIS, for the attacks.
This is coming barely a month after a group of Turkish soldiers attempted to overthrow the government, commandeering tanks, helicopters and warplanes in a failed coup that killed 240 people.
According to Hakan Yavuz, a professor in the department of political science at the University of Utah, “The coup attempt destroyed the military institutions,” adding that it made the country vulnerable.