ISTANBUL: Twenty-eight people were killed on Monday in a “terrorist attack” in the Turkish town of Suruc near the border with Syria, the interior ministry said.
“A terrorist attack took place in the town of Suruc in Sanliurfa today (Monday) around 12 pm local time,” the interior ministry said in a statement.
“Twenty-seven citizens lost their lives according to initial findings,” it said, warning that fatalities might increase.
Nearly 100 people were injured and treated in hospitals in the region, it said.
“We are calling on all for common sense in the face of this terrorist attack targeting our country’s unity,” the ministry said.
Preliminary evidence suggests an Islamic State suicide attack caused the blast that ripped through the Turkish border town of Suruc on Monday, two senior Turkish officials told Reuters.
“Our initial evidence shows that this was a suicide attack by the Islamic State,” one of the officials, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.
Suruc is just across the border from the Syrian city of Kobani, the scene of fierce battles between Kurdish groups and the Islamic State (IS) group.
Kobani was the IS group’s biggest defeat last year since it established control over large swathes of Iraq and Syria. The city has become a symbol of Kurdish resistance against the group.
Private Turkish Doğan News Agency (DHA) earlier said the blast occurred at a cultural center while a political group was giving a statement to the press on Kobani’s reconstruction.
News reports said 300 people from the Federation of Socialist Youths association were staying at the cultural center and were preparing to travel to Kobani to help with the rebuilding. Kobani was also the scene of surprise IS attacks last month that killed more than 200 people.