At least 27 dead in suspected ISIL suicide bombing in Turkey's border with Syria

20/07/2015 13:17

At least 27 dead in suspected ISIL suicide bombing in Turkey's border with Syria

An explosion has killed at least 27 in a municipal culture center in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa’s Suruç district, as scores of people have been hospitalized, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

"We are concerned that the number of death will increase. The perpetrators will soon be found and put on trial," Turkey's interior minister said in a statement on July 20.

There is speculation that the blast was caused by a 18-year-old female suicide bomber from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

At least 300 members of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF) were staying at the Amara Culture Center as part of a summer expedition to help rebuild Kobane, which lies directly across the border from Suruç.

The culture center, which is run by the Suruç Municipality under the control of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), frequently hosts visiting journalists and volunteers who work with refugees from Kobane.

In addition to the members of the Cabinet, a technical delegation by the Interior Ministry and a delegation from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) also left for the region.

Meanwhile, a crisis desk chaired by Prime Ministry Undersecretary Kemal Madenoğlu has been regularly briefing Davutoğlu, said news reports.

Kadir Ergün, an eyewitness, told CNNTürk that he was 100 meters away from the explosion. "It is hard to describe it with words. Blood donations are urgently needed. The people of Suruç are now called to donate blood," he added.

İsmail Kaplan, the HDP's deputy head in Suruç district, told journalists that a simultaneous suicide bombing hit the town center of Kobane, which had been repeatedly attacked by ISIL in the past months, too. Speaking to daily Hürriyet, security sources in Ankara have confirmed this claim.

"If it is Daesh [ISIL], it will not stay in Suruç. Very soon we could end up like Syria," said Muhsin Kızılkaya, a deputy from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The hashtag #SuruçtaKatliamVar (There is a massacre in Suruç) entered the worldwide trending topics list on Twitter soon after the explosion.

"It's a big massacre. The probability of a suicide bomber is very high," HDP deputy Leyla Güven told Habertürk. "Suspect information has been provided related to the number of deaths. Some say that everyone in the group died."

This photo shot five minutes before the explosion shows the group, daily Hürriyet reported:

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