ISIS is suspected to have carried out a suicide attack in Turkey Monday that claimed 28 lives and wounded dozens.
By: AP and World Israel News Staff
A midday explosion in Turkey’s southeastern city of Suruc near the Syrian border killed 28 people Monday and sent nearly 100 others to the hospital, Turkish officials said.
The prime minister’s office gave the casualty toll in a phone call to The Associated Press.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.
A Turkish official, however, said authorities have evidence that the attack was a suicide bombing and suspect the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group was behind it. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record.
Suruc is just across the border from the Syrian city of Kobani, the scene of fierce battles between Kurdish groups and the Islamic State group. Kobani was ISIS’ biggest defeat last year since the Muslim terrorists established control over large swaths of Iraq and Syria, and it has become a symbol of Kurdish resistance.
A second bomb went off Monday south of Kobani near a Kurdish militia checkpoint on the road to Syria’s largest city of Aleppo, according to Idriss Naasan, a Kurdish official in Kobani. It caused minor damage and no casualties, he said.
The private Turkish news agency DHA said the blast in Suruc occurred at a cultural center while a political group was holding a news conference on Kobani’s reconstruction. News reports said 300 people from the Federation of Socialist Youths were staying at the center and were preparing to travel to Kobani to help with the rebuilding.
Suruc hosts the largest refugee camp in Turkey, which has seen nearly two million Syrians cross its border to flee the fighting in their country.
More than 220,000 people have been killed and at least a million wounded since Syria’s crisis began in March 2011, according to the UN.
Kobani was also the scene of surprise ISIS attacks last month that killed more than 200 people.
If ISIS in fact executed the attack, it would mean that it has spread its reign of terror to yet another country, Turkey. Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia and the Gaza Strip have all been hit by ISIS terror.