ANKARA, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) — At least 30 people were killed and 94 others wounded in a blast at a wedding ceremony on Saturday night in southeastern Turkey, the Anadolu Agency reported Sunday.
The terror attack took place in the Beybahce neighborhood of the Sahinbey district of Gaziantep province, according to a statement by the governor’s office.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the attack in a written statement, saying that Islamic State (IS) was the “likely perpetrator.”
“Those, who cannot overcome Turkey and try to provoke people by abusing ethnic and sectarian sensitiveness, will not prevail,” he said.
“There is no difference between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which martyred 70 security personnel last month, the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETO) as an actor of July 15 coup bid claiming 240 people and the possible motive of Gaziantep terror attack IS,” he added.
Erdogan said that the aim of attacks like Gaziantep was to sow division between different groups in Turkey such as Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen and “spread incitement along ethnic and religious lines.”
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy Samil Tayyar said that the attack was carried out by the IS.
Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said that the explosion may have been caused by a suicide attack, adding that the death toll might be higher than reported.
“The aim of terror is to scare the people, but we will not allow this,” said Simsek, who also represents Gaziantep in the Turkish parliament.
Violence flared up again this week in the southeast and east of Turkey, with the PKK killing at least 12 people dead in separate attacks, mostly police and soldiers.