Two women embrace during a funeral for a victim of a suicide bombing of a Kurdish wedding in Gaziantep that killed 57 people. File photo: Ilyas Akengin/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A Turkish court convicted 10 people on Thursday in connection with a 2016 suicide bombing of a Kurdish wedding in Gaziantep. The Islamic State (ISIS) was blamed for the attack.
On August 20, 2016 a suicide bomber attacked a Kurdish wedding party in southeastern Turkey. Fifty-seven people were killed, more than half of them children. At least 100 people were injured.
A few hours later, mortars landed on the outskirts of Gaziantep, fired from Jarabulus in northern Syria. Turkish forces responded, firing artillery at ISIS positions across the border.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed ISIS for the attack and said the suicide bomber was a child aged between 12 and 14.
A few days later, Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield – its military offensive in northern Syria aimed at clearing ISIS from its border and preventing Syrian Kurds from expanding their territory west of the Euphrates River.
Eight of those convicted on Thursday were given aggravated life sentences on charges of premeditated murder, possession of hazardous materials, and membership in a terrorist organization, Anadolu Agency reported. Two others received nine years in prison for membership in a terrorist organization.
Two people – one of them a minor – were acquitted.