Turkey identifies suspect in suicide attack as dead activists mourned

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Mourners cover the graves of victims of a suicide bomb attack during their funeral in Suruc on July 21, 2015 (AFP Photo/Bulent Kilic)
Turkey said Tuesday it had identified a suspect over a devastating suicide bombing on the border with Syria blamed on Islamic State jihadists, as the government rushed to bolster security on the porous frontier.
 
Thirty-two people were killed and more than 100 wounded on Monday when a bomb ripped through a gathering of young socialist activists preparing to take aid over the border into the flashpoint Syrian town of Kobane.
The attack in Suruc, in a mainly Kurdish region of Turkey, was one of the deadliest in the country in recent years and the first time the government has directly accused Islamic State of carrying out an act of terror on Turkish soil.
Police in Istanbul used tear gas and water cannon on Tuesday evening to disperse hundreds of pro-Kurdish activists who took to the streets to demonstrate over the attack and condemn government policy on Syria.
The crowd of around 800 protesters chanted anti-government slogans, including: "Murderer state will be brought to account."
Demonstrations also took place in the predominantly Kurdish town of Nusaybin on the border with Syria.
 
In harrowing scenes earlier in the day, relatives of the dead clutched the victims\’ coffins in a farewell ceremony in the southeastern city of Gaziantep ahead of their burial in towns across Turkey.
"One suspect has been identified. All the (suspect\’s) links internationally and domestically are being investigated," Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in the regional centre of Sanliurfa after visiting the wounded in hospital.
He added there was a "high probability" the attack was caused by a suicide bomber with connections to IS.
"We expect this investigation to be concluded as soon as possible," he said.
Davutoglu said the death toll had risen to 32 and that 29 injured victims were still in hospital.
 
"What is necessary will be done against whomever is responsible for (the attack)," Davutoglu said.
"This is an attack that targeted Turkey."
SOURCE: AFP

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