At least 50 people were killed and 94 others were injured when a bomb attack targeted an outdoor wedding ceremony in the southeastern Turkish province of Gaziantep on Saturday evening, the local governor’s office said in a statement.
According to news reports, the bomb went off in a part of town with a large Kurdish community and many Kurds were at the wedding. Ambulances raced to the scene of the attack in the Şahinbey district of Gaziantep and police sealed off the area.
Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek earlier said the attack was believed to have been carried out by a suicide bomber, while another ruling party politician said Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants were behind the attack. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Gaziantep, near the Syrian border, is known to have several ISIL cells.
NATO member Turkey has suffered a string of attacks this year by ISIL militants, who pass relatively easily across the border from neighboring Syria, and the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) seeking autonomy or independence.
Three suspected ISIL suicide bombers killed 44 people at İstanbul’s main airport in July, the deadliest in a string of attacks in Turkey this year. Almost 40 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Ankara in March that was claimed by a pro-Kurdish group.