30 killed in Turkey wedding blast

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Ankara, Aug 21 (IANS) At least 30 people were killed and over 90 others injured on Saturday night in an explosion at a wedding in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, media reports said.

The “terror attack” took place in the Beybahce neighborhood of the Sahinbey district of Gaziantep province, located about 95 km north of the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo, Anadolu News Agency reported citing a statement from the regional governor Ali Yerlikaya.

The wedding took place on a street, a common practice in southern Turkey, especially during the summer season.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Video of the aftermath shows hundreds of people in the darkened street as rescue workers lifted victims into ambulances. Orhan Akin, Gaziantep bureau chief for the Ihlas News Agency, told CNN Turk that he saw “at least 20 ambulances carrying injured people”.

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, condemned the attack in a statement.

“Those, who cannot overcome Turkey and try to provoke people by abusing ethnic and sectarian sensitiveness, will not prevail,” Anadolu News Agency quoted Erdogan as saying.

Turkey has experienced significant turmoil in recent months, with the attempted military coup on July 15 and a series of deadly explosions, CNN said.

Past attacks have been carried out by the Islamic State (IS), which controls northern Syria across the border, and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

In the most brazen attack, 44 people were killed in July by suspected IS suicide bombers at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.

Last March, two suicide bombers killed at least 40 people in Ankara, the capital. A Kurdish rebel group claimed responsibility for that attack.

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On August 10, two explosions killed at least eight people in the southeastern towns of Kizitepe and Diyarbakir, CNN added.



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