An explosion on Turkey’s border with Syria, allegedly executed by ISIS, killed at least 31 people on Monday. “We are concerned that the number of death will increase. The perpetrators will soon be found and put on trial,” Turkey’s interior minister said in a statement.
“We believe that it is a suicide bomb attack. No name has yet been designated concerning identity of the suicide bomber,” he also said.
A horrific video, allegedly showing the moment the suicide bomber initiated the blast, surfaced online shortly after the blast.
“We will not only condemn this attack but we will also find those responsible and bring them to justice. This attack targeted peace, democracy and public order in Turkey,” Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said in a press conference in Ankara, Turkey’s capital.
Apparently, the bombing targeted a group of Kurdish youth activists were gathered at a cultural center. They were on their way to the city of Kobani, which was recently liberated from ISIS, to help with reconstruction efforts.
“They were planning to build parks in Kobane, hand out toys for children and paint school walls,” a representative from a pro-Kurdish political party said.
Suruc, the location of the blast, has one of the largest refugee camps for Kurds fleeing ISIS in the region. Previously, the town was a center of silk production.
After the blast, footage of the bloody explosion was released online, showing the precise moment the bomber set off the suicide weapon.
In response to the mass killing, the Turkish government promised tighter security controls on their porous border with Syria. The government did not discuss specific plans with the press, however.
Leaders across the globe stood firm in condemnation of the terrorism. Johannes Hahn, a high-ranking European Union official, tweeted about the tragedy. Russian president Vladimir Putin condemned the attacks as “barbaric” and sent a telegram with his condolences to the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“We express our solidarity with the Turkish government and the Turkish people and reaffirm our undeterred resolve to the fight against the shared threat of terrorism,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.
Since the beginnings of the Syria crisis, 220,000 have been killed, and more than a million have been wounded. 200 were killed last month in surprise attacks on Kobani.