IS battle spills over with killer 
blast in Turkey

0
Have your say

At least 28 people have been killed and about 100 others are injured in hospital after an explosion in the south-eastern Turkish city of Suruc, near the Syrian border.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the midday blast, which occurred just across the border from the Syrian city of Kobani, the scene of fierce battles between Kurdish groups and “Islamic State”.

Kobani was IS’s biggest defeat last year since the militants established control over large swathes of Iraq and Syria. The city has become a symbol of Kurdish resistance.

The Turkish DHA news agency said the blast in Suruc occurred at a cultural centre while a political group was holding a news conference on Kobani’s reconstruction.

News reports said 300 people from the Federation of Socialist Youths were staying at the centre and were preparing to travel to Kobani to help with the rebuilding.

A second bomb went off afterwards south of Kobani near a Kurdish militia checkpoint on the road to Syria’s largest city of Aleppo, according to a Kurdish official in Kobani, Idriss Naasan. It caused minor damage and no casualties, he said.

Kobani was also the scene of surprise IS attacks last month that killed more than 200 people.

A Turkish official, who chose not to be identified, said authorities have evidence that the Suruc attack was a suicide bombing and suspect “Islamic State” was behind it.

Meanwhile, a Nato air strike hit two Afghan military checkpoints in a restive province east of the capital Kabul yesterday, killing seven Afghan troops in what an official described as an accident due to bad co-ordination.

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani expressed his “profound sorrow” over the tragedy and ordered an investigation.

The incident happened as coalition helicopters were flying over an area in Logar province where clashes were underway between Afghan troops and Taliban fighters, the Afghan defence ministry said.

Insurgents fired towards the helicopters, prompting a response that destroyed one army checkpoint, the ministry statement added.

An unspecified number of the army members were “killed and wounded”, the ministry said.

Logar provincial army commander Abdul Razaq said the early morning strike took place in the district of Baraki Barak, about 30 miles east of Kabul.

Mr Razaq revised an earlier higher death toll down and 
said seven troops were killed while five were wounded in the strike.

District governor Mohammad Rahim Amin said the Nato air strike was “likely a mistake, due to bad co-ordination” in an area where Taliban insurgents are highly active.

A US military spokesman in 
Afghanistan Col Brian Tribus said the coalition was aware of an incident in Logar and is investigating.

According to a statement from Mr Ghani’s office, the Afghan president appointed a team to “comprehensively probe the 
incident and come up with clarification surrounding the air strike”.

The Afghan president 
also urged the international forces to “take maximum precautions” not to harm Afghan civilians and troops in their future operations.