ISIL child suicide bomber in Gaziantep was wearing Messi jersey: Erdoğan
NEW YORKTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) suicide bomber who carried out the Aug. 20 attack on a wedding in the southeastern province of Gaziantep was a 14-year-old child wearing a jersey bearing the name of star football player Lionel Messi.
“Because the child loved Messi so much, they sent him there wearing a Messi jersey. Then they detonated this bomb, killing 56 people and injuring almost 100 of our brothers and sisters,” Erdoğan told the Turkish American Cultural Society at a meeting in New York on Sept. 22.
“Twenty-nine of those killed were children and youngsters,” he added, noting that the bomb was attached to the child’s body and detonated remotely.
Erdoğan also said ISIL attempted to carry out a suicide attack in Kirkuk after the attack on Gaziantep, during which it again tried to use an Iraqi child wearing the Barcelona star Messi’s jersey.
He had spoken one day after the suicide attack on a wedding in the Şahinbey district of Gaziantep, saying it was carried out by a child bomber aged 12 to 14.
“There are strong indications that the attack was carried out by ISIL. A suicide bomber aged between 12 and 14 blew himself up. We know that ISIL has been trying to gain ground in Gaziantep for a while now,” he told reporters in Istanbul on Aug. 21.