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US 'strongly condemns' Turkey terror attack

AFP , Monday 20 Jul 2015

The White House condemned an apparent suicide bombing in Turkey Monday that killed at least 30 people and was blamed on Islamic State.

Spokesman Josh Earnest said the White House "strongly condemns the heinous terrorist attack that occurred in southern Turkey," which Ankara said appeared to be the work of the Islamic State group.

"We have started to see some extremist activity in other countries that does seem to be related to ISIL," Earnest said, using an acronym for the Islamic State group.

The bomb attack ripped through a cultural center in Suruc, a town opposite the Syrian flashpoint of Kobane, leaving 30 people dead and 104 wounded.

Turkish authorities have cracked down on IS networks, arresting dozens of suspects in recent weeks, and beefed up its border with Syria with tanks and anti-aircraft missiles as well as additional troops.

Amid suggestions that Islamic State may have fired chemical weapons against Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq last month, the White House said it could not back up those claims.

"We have not reached that conclusion, we certainly are seeking additional information though, to get to the bottom of those reports," said Earnest.

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