A suicide bombing which killed 51 people in the Turkish city of Gaziantep was carried out by a 12 to 14-year-old, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

Mr Erdogan said the so-called Islamic State (IS) was behind the attack, which targeted a Kurdish wedding party. Gaziantep, near the Syrian border, is known to have several IS cells.

The bomb wounded 69 people, Mr Erdogan added, 17 of them seriously.

Victims of the blast included a young child – and women, according to witnesses

Women could be seen mourning outside a morgue in Gaziantep on Sunday

The bomber targeted the wedding guests as they danced in the street.

The BBC’s Seref Isler, who is from Gaziantep, says the city of 1.5 million was already on edge because of events in Syria, where IS has been battling Syrian Kurdish forces.

A suicide bomber believed to have links to IS killed two policemen in Gaziantep in May.

Was IS behind this? Analysis by Mark Lowen, BBC News, Istanbul

IS is known to have operatives in Gaziantep.

Turkey has been hit by a series of bombs both by IS and Kurdish militants in the past year. The last IS attack, on Istanbul airport in June, killed more than 40 people.

The jihadists have recently lost ground in northern Syria, including a former stronghold, Manbij. Syrian rebel soldiers are preparing to advance further into the IS-held province of Jarablus.

If this bomb was the work of IS, there will be speculation it was a revenge attack, intended as a show of strength by a group on the defensive.

In a written statement published by local media (in Turkish), Mr Erdogan argued there was “no difference” between IS, the Kurdish militants of the PKK, and followers of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom he blames for the coup attempt last month.

“Our country and our nation have again only one message to those who attack us – you will not succeed!” he said.

Source: BBC

An X Live News Aggregation Service

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