A suspected Islamic State suicide bomber killed at least 30 people, mostly young students, in an attack on a Turkish town near the Syrian border on Monday.
The explosion tore through a group of mostly university-aged students from an activist group as they gathered to make a statement to the local press about a trip they were planning to help rebuild Kobani.
Turkey’s NATO allies have been seeking tighter controls on a porous border with Syria that runs alongside Islamic State-held territories. But monitoring is difficult with 1.8 million Syrian refugees now on the Turkish side and smuggling rife.
The United States, which has an air base at Incirlik in southern Turkey, though it is not being used for its air attacks on IS forces, called the bombing a “heinous terror attack”.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference in Ankara that 30 people had been killed. “It is … most probably a suicide bombing.”
The Hurriyet newspaper said the attacker was an 18-year old woman, but there was no confirmation.
“Turkey has taken and will continue to take all necessary measures against the Islamic State,” Davutoglu said, without giving details.
The Suruc attack comes weeks after Turkey deployed additional troops and equipment along parts of its border with Syria, concerned about the risk of spillover as fighting between Kurdish forces, rebel groups, Syrian government troops and Islamic State terrorists intensifies.