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      Dozens Killed In Bomb Attack On Turkish Border Town

      Dozens Killed In Bomb Attack On Turkish Border Town Dozens Killed In Bomb Attack On Turkish Border Town Dozens Killed In Bomb Attack On Turkish Border Town
      Photo via Dicle News Agency

      Middle East

      Dozens Killed In Bomb Attack On Turkish Border Town

      By John Beck

      An explosion in the Turkish town of Suruc near the Syrian border killed at least 28 people and injured almost 100, officials said.

      The blast took place outside a cultural center as a political group held a press conference discussing the reconstruction of majority Kurdish town of Kobane just across the Syrian border.

      The moment of the blast was captured on video. Footage shows attendees waving banners and holding flags before a massive explosion. In the aftermath bloodied and blackened bodies are seen in the cultural center's garden as survivors scream and attempt to help. 

      The Turkish Interior Ministry announced the death toll in a statement and described the bombing as a "terrorist attack," vowing to find those responsible. Interior Minister Sebahattin Ozt├╝rk will travel to Suruc along with two other cabinet ministers to coordinate the investigation, local media said.

      No group has yet claimed responsibility, although the so-called Islamic State (IS) has launched a number of recent attacks on Kobane. The town became a symbol of Kurdish resistance against IS after the extremists almost overran it before being beaten back by Kurdish fighters backed by Syrian rebels and US-led airstrikes.

      The conference was being held by the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF), a large group of whom had traveled from Istanbul and Ankara were staying in the center before going on to Kobane. They had reportedly planned to help clear rubble, provide healthcare, build a library, playpark, and memorial forest.

      The cultural center was used to coordinate some local humanitarian aid for Kobane and refugees who had fled the fighting as well as a makeshift press facility for visiting media. Groups of volunteers from across the country often worked and slept in the building.

      A suicide bomber detonated a car bomb at a Kurdish checkpoint in the south of Kobane shortly afterwards killing two, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. Last month IS infiltrated the town and killed more than 200 people, mostly civilians.

      Follow John Beck on Twitter: @jm_beck

      Topics: middle east, turkey, syria, kobane, islamic state, war & conflict, suruc, border

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