It finally happened. ISIS has detonated a suicide bomber in a border town of Turkey, killing at least 28:
TODAY’S ZAMAN – An explosion on Monday outside a cultural center in the Turkish town of Suruç, which is near the country’s border with Syria, killed at least 28 people and wounded more than 100, in what may have been a suicide bomb attack by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.
The explosion occurred at around 11:50 a.m. in front of the Amara Culture Center while a large number of Socialist Youth Association (SGDF) members, who came from İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir and Diyarbakır, were making a press statement regarding the reconstruction of the Syrian border town of Kobani. Turkish media reports said 300 people from the SGDF were preparing to travel to Kobani to help with the rebuilding.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the midday blast. Initial reports had said the explosion was a suicide attack and the bomber was reportedly a member of ISIL, and Turkish officials speaking to Reuters also said preliminary evidence suggested an ISIL suicide attack caused the blast. The Turkish newspaper Hürriyet’s website, citing official sources, said the attack is suspected to have been perpetrated by a 18-year-old female ISIL supporter.
In a written statement following the attack, Turkey’s Interior Ministry said the “terrorist attack” led to the death of 27 people and injured more than 100, according to initial findings, and added that there is a fear that the death toll may rise. The ministry said a technical team was sent to the area to conduct an investigation.
“We call on everyone to stand together and remain calm in the face of this terrorist attack which targets the unity of our country,” the ministry said in the statement.
Şanlıurfa Governor İzzettin Küçük later said the explosion was a suicide attack, giving the death toll as 28.
“We confirmed that it was a suicide bomber. Now, there are 28 dead and around 100 wounded… However, whether the suicide bomber was 18-year-old, how old is the bomber, our teams, security forces have been working to find out. As the incident is so fresh, we don’t have information about the identity of the bomber. Crime scene investigation teams and a large number of members of the security forces have been conducting an investigation to produce a result. We will share that information with the public when it comes.”
“I saw more than 20 bodies. I think the number of wounded is more than 50. They are still being put into ambulances,” one witness told Reuters by telephone, giving his name as Mehmet. “It was a huge explosion, we all shook.”
When I first heard about this terrorist attack in a Turkish town on the border with Syria, I immediately thought that this is the straw that will break the camel’s back with regard to Turkey invading Syria. They will uses this as an excuse, no doubt, to unify the country around the AKP for electoral purposes and will use it to eventually invade Syria to take out Assad. After all, it’s a matter of national security.