A day where family and friends gathered to celebrate the new union of two people came to a horrific end as a suspected suicide bombing ripped through a street in southeastern Turkey late last night [Saturday, August 20], killing at least 50 people, and wounding over 90.
Over 200 guests piled into a street in the city of Gaziantep in the nation’s Sahinbey district, near the Syrian border, to celebrate the Kurdish street wedding currently enfolding when the blast occurred somewhere around 11 p.m. local time say local witnesses.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the gruesome attack. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is firm in his belief, however, that the Islamic State militant group was behind it, calling them “the most likely perpetrator” of the attack and citing their mission as being to “spread incite, net along ethnic and religious lines.”
“Those who cannot overcome Turkey and try to provoke people by abusing ethnic and sectarian sensitiveness will not prevail,” said Erdogan according to state-run news agency Anadolu.
According to Mahmut Togrul of the Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, the bride and groom of the ceremonies are safe and in stable condition while many of those who lost their lives were children.
Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek condemned the Gaziantep attack, calling it a “massacre of unprecedented cruelty and barbarism.”
The terrifying attack comes only as the latest in a string of attacks that have sent shockwaves throughout the country and the world, including an attack on Istanbul’s main airport, suspected to be the work of ISIS, that left 44 dead, and a recent failed coup attempt that left 240 dead.