Erdogan: Suicide Bomber in Turkish Wedding Attack Was 12-14 Years Old

51 people were killed and 61 were wounded in the blast in southern Turkey, which Turkish President Erdogan blames on ISIS.

A person shows pieces of projectile near the explosion scene following a late night attack on a wedding party that left at least 30 dead, Gaziantep, Turkey, August 21, 2016.
A person shows pieces of projectile near the explosion scene following a late night attack on a wedding party that left at least 30 dead, Gaziantep, Turkey, August 21, 2016. Ilyas Askengin, AFP

REUTERS - The suicide bomber who attacked a wedding party in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep on Saturday killing 51 people was a child between the ages of 12 and 14, President Tayyip Erdogan said.

"Initial evidence suggests it was a Daesh attack," Erdogan said, using an Arabic name for ISIS, during a visit to Gaziantep after the attack. He said 69 people were in hospital and 17 were "heavily injured".

ISIS has been blamed for other attacks in Turkey, often targeting Kurdish gatherings in an effort to inflame ethnic tensions. The deadliest one was last October, when suicide bombers killed more than 100 people at a rally of pro-Kurdish and labor activists in Ankara.

Saturday's wedding party was for a member of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, it said, and the groom was among those injured. The bride was not hurt, one local official said.

Celebrations were ending at the traditional henna night party, when guests have decorative paint applied to their hands and feet. Some families had already left when the bomb went off but women and children were among the dead, witnesses said.

Blood and burns marked the walls of the narrow lane where the blast hit. Women in white and checkered scarves cried, sitting crosslegged outside the morgue waiting for word on missing relatives.

"The celebrations were coming to an end and there was a big explosion among people dancing," said 25-year-old Veli Can. "There was blood and body parts everywhere."

"We want to end these massacres," witness Ibrahim Ozdemir said. "We are in pain, especially the women and children."