Bomb used in attack on wedding in Gaziantep same type as previous ISIL attacks: Report
REUTERS photoDetails continue to emerge regarding the Aug. 20 suicide blast carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, with the mechanism of the bomb used in the wedding attack that claimed at least 54 lives reportedly being the same type as ones used in previous attacks.
ISIL militants used iron marbles to strengthen the effect of the bomb and most of the deaths occurred because of the marbles hitting people, according to the preliminary autopsy report on the attack that killed a total of 29 children, daily Hürriyet reported on Aug. 22.
The mechanism of the bomb was the same as the ones used in the Oct. 10, 2015 suicide attack at the train station in central Ankara and the ISIL attack in the Suruç district of Şanlıurfa. Both claimed a total of 142 lives and wounded scores of others.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Aug. 21 said the perpetrator was a child suicide bomber aged between 12 and 14.
In footage obtained from nearby surveillance cameras, two people can be seen fleeing the scene shortly after the attack. Investigators are exploring whether the duo dropped the suicide bomber to the area and watched the child’s actions, the report said.
Police are also investigating whether the order to stage the attack was given by Deniz Büyükçelebi, the ISIL militant “responsible” for the group’s actions on the Turkish Syrian border.
Büyükçelebi reportedly replaced Yunus Durmaz, an ISIL “emir” who blew himself up in a police operation targeting the jihadist group on May 19. Durmaz was the mastermind of the Suruç and Ankara bomb attacks and the former Turkey “emir” of ISIL, according to an indictment of a case opened in March.
The police on had found notes regarding ISIL plans to attack Kurdish weddings during the operation in which Durmaz blew himself up, according to a separate Hürriyet report. Durmaz had written to “higher-level” jihadists within the organization and asked for permission to carry out attacks in the aforementioned places, according to the report.
“There are weddings taking place these days. If you approve we will take action,” Durmaz wrote.
According to daily Cumhuriyet, Durmaz also asked for Kurdish-speaking militants to join ISIL, in order to “infiltrate them” to carry out the attacks.
Meanwhile, police caught ISIL militants linked to Durmaz on Aug. 11 in a secret operation in Gaziantep, sending a warning the next day to police units that ISIL could stage attacks on sites linked to the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) or the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in retaliation for the operation, daily Milliyet’s Tolga Şardan reported.
Three ISIL militants, identified only by the initials as T.G., A.D. and G.D., were arrested in the operation in which suicide vests and bomb-making objects were found. It was also reportedly determined that G.D. is Durmaz’s sibling.