Suicide Bomber Kills at Least 31 in Turkish Border Town
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Attack is near embattled Syrian town of Kobani.
Turkey’s government blamed Islamic State for a suicide bombing in a Kurdish border town that killed at least 31 people, one of the worst cases of spillover violence from the four-year-old war in neighboring Syria.
The attacker targeted a cultural center in the town of Suruc where some 300 members of socialist youth groups from across the country were meeting Monday to prepare rebuilding projects in the Syrian city of Kobani, just across the border. Authorities said they suspect a suicide bomber on foot waded into a crowd and detonated explosives, shattering windows and leaving limbs scattered in the yard. More than 100 people were wounded.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the deadliest attack along the border in more than two years. But if Islamic State was behind it, it would be the group’s first known suicide bombing in Turkey.
The Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani was the site of a major victory for Kurdish militia forces over Islamic State in January after a four-month battle. The Syrian Kurdish forces went on to push the extremist fighters from other parts of northern Syria more recently—raising the possibility that the attack in Suruc was retaliation for those Kurdish advances.
The bombing may also have been a response to an intensified Turkish crackdown on Islamic State in recent weeks, a government official in Ankara said.
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