At least 22 people were killed and 94 others were injured when a bomb exploded at an outdoor wedding in southern Turkey, the provincial governor’s office said late Saturday.
Gaziantep Province Gov. Ali Yerlikaya said the blast during the wedding in the city of Gaziantep, near the border with Syria, was a terror attack.
Mehmet Tascioglu, a local journalist, told NTV television that the huge explosion could be heard in many parts of the city.
Ambulances raced to the scene as authorities attempted to get a handle on the resulting carnage. Photos taken after the explosion showed several bodies covered with white sheets.
Police sealed off the site of the explosion and forensic teams moved in. Hundreds of residents gathered near the site chanting “Allah is great” as well as slogans denouncing terrorist attacks.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Samil Tayyar, a minister from the ruling AK Party, said on Twitter that ISIS was believed to be behind the attack.
The attack comes as the country is still reeling from last month’s failed coup attempt which the government has blamed on U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek told NTV, “This was a barbaric attack. It appears to be a suicide attack. All terror groups, the PKK, Daesh, the (Gulen movement) are targeting Turkey. But God willing, we will overcome.” Daesh is an Arabic name for ISIS.
Turkey has been rocked by a wave of attacks in the past year that have either been claimed by Kurdish militants linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party — known by its acronym PKK — or were blamed on IS. In June, suspected ISIS militants attacked Istanbul’s main airport with guns and bombs, killing 44 people.
SOURCE: The Associated Press