30-11-2021 07:31 AM Jerusalem Timing

Turkey Backtracks on ’ISIL Child Bomber’ Claims

Turkey Backtracks on ’ISIL Child Bomber’ Claims

Turkey on Monday went back on claims that a child bomber linked to Takfiri ISIL group carried out a deadly suicide bombing close to Syria, saying it had no clue who was behind the attack.

Turkey on Monday went back on claims that a child bomber linked to Takfiri ISIL group carried out a deadly suicide bombing close to Syria, saying it had no clue who was behind the attack.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Ankara could not confirm who was the perpetrator of the attack on a Kurdish wedding in the city of Gaziantep which left 54 dead, apparently contradicting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who had said it was a child bomber acting on ISIL orders.Turkish PM Binali Yildirim

"We do not have a clue about who the perpetrators behind the attack were. Early information on who did the attack, in what organization's name, is unfortunately not right," Yildirim told reporters in Ankara.

His comments were in stark contrast with those by Erdogan who said on Sunday that the bomber was a child aged between 12-14 acting on orders of ISIL terrorists.

Yildirim described as "rumors" whether the attack was conducted by a child or an adult, while insisting security agencies would continue their work to find out who was responsible.

"Those who were behind the attack will be revealed, there is no doubt about this."

The Hurriyet daily said DNA tests were under way to ascertain the bomber's identity, nationality and gender.

Earlier press reports said that security forces believed the insurgents had timed the attack as retaliation for offensives both by Kurdish militias and pro-Ankara Syrian opposition forces against IS in Syria.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey backed anyone fighting against IS and would itself fight the group "to the end".

"Our border must be completely cleansed from Daesh," he said in televised remarks, using an Arabic acronym for the ISIL group.

The majority of those killed in the wedding blast were children or teenagers, with 29 of the 44 victims identified so far aged under 18, media said.

The death toll rose to 54 after three more died in hospital in the early morning on Monday, the Dogan news agency reported.

The leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas said in a statement that "all of those killed were Kurds".