Explosion Hits Turkish Town Near Syrian Border


At least 27 people have been killed in an explosion at a cultural centre in the southeastern town of Suruc near Turkey’s border with Syria, according to the Turkish interior ministry. Al Jazeera sources said Monday’s blast happened during a press conference during the centre’s opening.

A representative of a Kurdish party told Al Jazeera that the body of a suicide bomber had been found among the dead. Eyewitnesses said those targeted were volunteers coming from Istanbul and heading to the Syrian city of Kobane for relief work.

Images posted on Twitter showed around 10 people laying motionless outside a building, and several others who appeared to be wounded. More than 20,000 Syrian refugees are housed in camps around Suruc, a mainly Kurdish town.

Suruc lies 10km from Kobane, another largely Kurdish town, which was the scene of an unsuccessful siege by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group. ISIL forces had surrounded Kobane until they were repelled by Kurdish forces backed by the Free Syrian Army and US air cover in March.

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