Gaziantep, Turkey, Wedding Bombing: Terror Attack Leaves 20 Dead, Many More Wounded

A Gaziantep, Turkey, wedding ended in horror on Saturday, Aug. 20, when a suspected bomb went off, killing 20 people and injuring many more, according to the BBC.

The city of Gaziantep, Turkey, is located about 40 miles from the Syrian border, the British broadcaster reports, adding that the wedding bombing there has left at least 94 others injured.

While no one has claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Gaziantep, Turkey, wedding, Turkish officials have told the BBC that the Islamic State is a likely suspect.

“Turkey has been hit by a series of bombs both by IS and Kurdish militants in the past year, with the last IS attack on Istanbul airport in June, killing more than 40 people.

“The jihadists have recently lost ground in northern Syria, including a former stronghold, Manbij. Syrian rebel soldiers are preparing to advance further into the IS-held province of Jarablus.

“If this bomb was the work of IS, there will be speculation it is a revenge attack, intended as a show of strength by a group on the defensive.”

Al Jazerra reports that the Gaziantep governor called the bombing of the Turkish wedding a “terror attack” and said it is suspected that a suicide bomber detonated himself among the wedding guests.

While the Islamic State is suspected in the attack, Turkey has been targeted by other terrorists, as well, with Al Jazerra mentioning a suicide bombing in Ankara in March that killed 40 people and was claimed by a Kurdish separatist group. The region where Gaziantep, Turkey, is located is a Kurdish region of the country.

Gaziantep, Turkey Wedding Bombing: Terror Attack Leaves 20 Dead, Many More Wounded
Turkey has seen several terror attacks in recent months, with a large attack taking place at the nation's largest airport in Ankara. (Photo by Mehmet Ali Poyraz/Getty Images)

The Associated Press reports that Turkey is still recovering from a failed coup last month, making confronting this wedding attack in Gaziantep challenging.

As for how large the blast itself was, the AP reports that it was big enough to be felt through most of Gaziantep.

“Mehmet Tascioglu, a local journalist, told NTV television, that the huge explosion could be heard in many parts of the city.

“In Gaziantep, 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.”

The bombing of Gaziantep comes on the same day that Turkey’s government said it would be taking a more prominent role in the civil war taking place in nearby Syria, with the BBC noting that the country’s leader would have to be deposed for a successful Syria to emerge.

“In the six months ahead of us, we shall be playing a more active role,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said. “It means not allowing Syria to be divided along ethnic lines.”

While the assailants are not yet known in the Gaziantep, Turkey, wedding blast, it is just the latest in a string of terrorist attacks in not only Turkey, but worldwide.

Gaziantep, Turkey Wedding Bombing: Terror Attack Leaves 20 Dead, Many More Wounded
Turkey's government also survived a coup attempt within the last month, making a response to Saturday's terror attack even more daunting. (Photo by Stringer/Getty Images)

In the United States, a home-grown terrorist opened fire on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people and injuring more than 50 others before he was killed by local police.

France has seen two major attacks in recent months, with a previous attack targeting Paris that resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people across four different attack scenes. The largest scene of carnage was a concert venue where an American band was playing. At that site, dozens were killed and many more were wounded.

In the South of France, a home-grown terrorist drove an tractor-trailer down the main boulevard along the coast teaming with tourists on Bastille Day in Nice, France’s version of Independence Day. In all, he killed more than 80 people who could not get out of his way as he charged down the street.