Turkish man, 20, carried out Syria border bombing: Official

AFP , Wednesday 22 Jul 2015

Turkey Explosion
Armed and masked leftist militants demonstrate during the funeral of Monday's explosion victims in Suruc, in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday, July 21, 2015 (Photo: AP)

A 20-year-old Turkish man reportedly linked to Islamic State militants carried out the suicide bombing in the mainly Kurdish town of Suruc near the border with Syria that killed 32 people, a Turkish official said on Wednesday.

"As a result of DNA tests, we confirm that the assailant is a 20-year-old man registered in Adiyaman," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity, referring to a province in southeastern Turkey.

Media reports had earlier said the man -- identified by his initials S.A.A. -- had first become involved with IS militants two months ago.

Monday's blast ripped through a gathering of activists in Suruc, just across the border from the Syrian town of Kobane which was the scene of fierce clashes between Kurdish forces and jihadists last year.

Most of 32 dead were university students who gathered in Suruc to prepare for an aid mission in Kobane.

Turkish authorities are also investigating if there is any connection between the latest bombing and a deadly attack in the Kurdish majority city of Diyarbakir last month.

The Hurriyet newspaper reported on Wednesday that the bomb mechanism used in Diyarbakir and Suruc was similar.

The authorities suspected S.A.A. could have connections with the assailant in Diyarbakir attack, as the two were believed to have joined IS at similar times, it added.

Police found TNT explosives and many iron ball bearings at the blast scene in Suruc, just like the one in Diyarbakir.

That bomb attack killed four people and wounded dozens during a pre-election rally by the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) on June 5.

The suspect's affiliation was not officially confirmed but the pro-Kurdish party's co-chair Selahattin Demirtas said the attack was linked to the Islamic State group.

Turkish authorities are also reportedly investigating if a female corpse found after the Suruc bombing which could not be identified might be a second suicide bomber.

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