UPDATE: 4:15 a.m. EDT — The death toll for Saturday’s bomb blast in Turkey’s Gaziantep city has risen to 50, the local governor's office reportedly said. The explosion targeted a wedding in the southern city.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a written statement, “Our country and our nation have again only one message to those who attack us - you will not succeed!”
At least 30 people were killed and more than 94 injured after a bomb blast in Turkey’s Gaziantep city late Saturday. The explosion targeted an outdoor wedding in the southern city.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, is the "likely perpetrator" of the attack. The government called the explosion a “terror attack” and said that it was likely the work of a suicide bomber. However, no terrorist group has claimed responsibility so far.
The explosion occurred at around 10:50 p.m. local time (3:50 p.m. EDT) in a part of the city where several university students live. The city, which lies about 40 miles from the Syrian border, was already on edge due to activities taking place on the other side of the border, the BBC reported.
Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek called the attack “barbaric” adding, “God willing, we will overcome.” He also tweeted, “Our message is very simple: We will NOT bow to terror!”
He traveled to the site of the blast later with Turkey’s health minister to visit the injured. He said, “This is a massacre of unprecedented cruelty and barbarism. We ... are united against all terror organizations. They will not yield.” He added that it was too soon to say for certain which group was behind the attack.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim spoke against the attack, which turned “a wedding party into a place of mourning.”
“No matter what this treacherous terror organization is called, we as the people, the state, and the government will pursue our determined struggle against it,” he said.
The death toll was raised from 22 to 30 early Sunday by the office of the Gaziantep governor. The number of people injured remained at 94.
Turkey had been on the receiving end of several attacks over the year. Four police officers and two civilians were killed in an attack Thursday for which officials blamed militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). A scuffle between the PKK militants and the police last week left at least eight dead. ISIS was blamed for the July attack in the Istanbul airport which killed 41 people.