Latest: Death toll from bomb blast at Turkey wedding rises to 50

Latest: Death toll from bomb blast at Turkey wedding rises to 50
People gather after an explosion in Gaziantep, southeastern Turkey, early Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016. Gaziantep Province Gov. Ali Yerlikaya said the deadly blast, during a wedding near the border with Syria, was a terror attack. (Eyyup Burun/DHA via AP)

Update 10.36am: A bomb attack on an outdoor wedding party in south-eastern Turkey that killed 50 people and wounded dozens of others was the work of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ group, the country's president said.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a statement on Sunday saying that 'IS' was "the most likely perpetrator of the Gaziantep attack".

The initial death toll was 30 killed and 94 wounded. Later, the Gaziantep governor's office raised the toll to 50, without giving a number of wounded, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency.

Earlier:

A bomb attack targeting an outdoor wedding party in south-eastern Turkey killed at least 30 people and wounded 94 others.

Deputy prime minister Mehmet Simsek said the "barbaric" attack in the city of Gaziantep, near the border with Syria, on Saturday appeared to be a suicide bombing.

Other officials said it could have been the carried out by either Kurdish militants or Islamic State group extremists.

Photos taken after the explosion showed several bodies covered with white sheets as a crowd gathered nearby.

Turkey has been rocked by a wave of attacks in the past year that have either been claimed by Kurdish militants linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party - known by its acronym PKK - or were blamed on IS.

In June, suspected IS militants attacked Istanbul's main airport with guns and bombs, killing 44 people.

The attack comes as the country is still reeling from last month's failed coup attempt, which the government has blamed on US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen and his followers.

Earlier this week, a string of bombings blamed on the PKK that targeted police and soldiers killed at least a dozen people. A fragile, two-year peace process between the PKK and the government collapsed last year, leading to a resumption of the three-decade-long conflict.

Mr Simsek, interviewed on NTV television, said: "This was a barbaric attack. It appears to be a suicide attack. All terror groups, the PKK, Daesh, the (Gulen movement) are targeting Turkey. But God willing, we will overcome." Daesh is an Arabic name for the IS group.

He later traveled to Gaziantep along with the country's health minister to visit the wounded and inspect the site of the attack.

"This is a massacre of unprecedented cruelty and barbarism," he told reporters in Gaziantep. "We ... are united against all terror organisations. They will not yield."

He told reporters it was too soon to say which organisation was behind the attack.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim condemned the bombing that turned "a wedding party into a place of mourning" and vowed to prevail over the "devilish" attacks.

"No matter what this treacherous terror organisation is called, we as the people, the state, and the government will pursue our determined struggle against it," he said.

A brief statement from the Gaziantep governor's office said the bomb attack on the wedding in the Sahinbey district occurred at 10:50pm local time.

Mehmet Tascioglu, a local journalist, told NTV television, that the huge explosion could be heard in many parts of the city.

Police sealed off the site of the explosion and forensic teams moved in. Hundreds of residents gathered near the site chanting "Allah is great" as well as slogans denouncing attacks.

More in this Section

Men who filmed themselves raping a woman in a Soho club facing jailMen who filmed themselves raping a woman in a Soho club facing jail

Extinction Rebellion launches legal action over London protest banExtinction Rebellion launches legal action over London protest ban

Google unveils Pixel 4 phone with ‘astrophotography’ capabilityGoogle unveils Pixel 4 phone with ‘astrophotography’ capability

Egypt announces discovery of ancient coffins at site in LuxorEgypt announces discovery of ancient coffins at site in Luxor


Lifestyle

I am dating a lovely guy. However, he seems really awkward about being naked in front of me.Sex File: Boyfriend keeps his T-shirt on during sex

To instantly power up your look, veer towards the hard shoulder.Bold shoulder: How to instantly power up your look

Plums are a wonderful autumn fruit, useful for all sorts of recipes both sweet and savoury. In Ireland we are blessed with wonderfully sweet plums.Currabinny Cooks: Juicy plums work for both sweet and savoury dishes

The rise of home skincare devices doesn't mean that salons and clinics no longer serve a purpose.The Skin Nerd: Don’t try this at home — new treatments in the salon

More From The Irish Examiner