The Islamic State suicide bomber who allegedly attacked a wedding in Turkey, killing 51 people and injuring 69 others, could be as young as 12 years old, the Turkish president said Sunday, according to CNN.
The bombing on Saturday night in Gaziantep was the deadliest attack in Turkey this year, according to Time. At least 69 people re believed to be injured, 17 of them are in critical condition, according to Time.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave a live national television announcement on Sunday, and said the attacker was between 12 and 14 years old, according to Anadolu Post, a state-run news outlet in Turkey. Referring to ISIS as “Daesh,” he condemned the tragic event.
“It was clear that Daesh had such an organization in Gaziantep or was attempting to make room for itself in recent times,” Erdogan said. “Many intensive operations were conducted, are being conducted. Of course our security forces will be conducting these operations with even greater intensity.”
Ned Price, a spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council, joined Erdogan in condemning the attack.
“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms yesterday’s terrorist attack in Gaziantep, Turkey,” Price said in a statement. ” The perpetrators of this barbaric act cynically and cowardly targeted a wedding, killing dozens and leaving scores wounded. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those killed, and we wish a speedy recovery to those injured.”
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Price continued by expressing the United States’ continued support, and said Vice President Joe Biden will visit Turkey next week.
“We stand with the people of Turkey as they defend their democracy in the face of all forms of terrorism. We are in close touch with Turkish authorities, and Vice President Biden will visit Ankara on Wednesday, August 24 to reaffirm our commitment to work together with Turkey, our valued NATO Ally and partner, to confront the scourge of terrorism.”
The bride and groom survived, but the groom’s sister and uncle were among the dead, according to Time.
The groom’s brother told Anadolu Post, about the harrowing scene.
“We couldn’t see anything,” Sukru Akdogan said. “Nothing but body parts.”