Victims of Antep attack mostly children under 18; probably, so is the attacker
22.08.2016 20:03 BİRGÜN DAİLY

3 people who had got wounded in yesterday’s bomb attack in a wedding ceremony in Şahinbey district in Antep lost their lives today. The total number of people who lost their lives has risen to 54.

66 people, of whom 14 are in critical condition, are still being treated in hospitals.

While giving statements about the attack, President Erdoğan said yesterday that the ‘findings of security the security forces point to ISIL’ as the responsible terrorist group behind the attack and that ‘the attack was carried out by a child of around the ages of 12-13.’

Most of the deceased were children and youngsters

It has been revealed that a great majority of those who lost their lives were children.

According to the reports of DHA, names of the 44 of the deceased have been identified; and, of these, 29 are under the age of 18.

Hürriyet has reported that the bomb set-up was the same as those used in the massacres of 20 July 2015 in Suruç and 10 October 2015 in Ankara.

Antep'teki saldırıda hayatını kaybedenlerin sayısı 54'e yükseldi Antep'teki saldırıda hayatını kaybedenlerin sayısı 54'e yükseldi

Talking to BBC Türkçe, the village headman for the Beybahçe town, where the attack took place, Nimetullah Sezgin explained that people with origins of Siirt, Van, Urfa, and Antep live in the area together. Sezgin also verified that the host families of the wedding were originally from Siirt.

According to the reports of Hatice Kamer from Diyarbakır, another citizen of Siirt origin, Osman Akdoğan went to the site of the incident as many of the wounded and deceased are their family members. Also giving comments to BBC Türkçe, Akdoğan said: “Some of the bodies are unidentifiable. There are about 15 people whom we don’t know which hospitals they are in. The attack was carried out at henna night. People say that while fireworks were being set off, a young boy came into the crowd and exploded himself. The explosion was too loud! I went to the site of the incident within a few minutes after the explosion; the scene was devastating. There were pieces of corpse everywhere; they were even on the walls. The walls of the house were full of holes. People were in shock and did not know what to do. We began to carry the wounded and the deceased to the hospitals, right away. The police came to the scene about an hour later.”

Just like the host families of the wedding, Osman Akdoğan had also migrated to Antep in 90’s, during the evacuations of the villages in their hometowns in Siirt. Saying he waited at the scene of the attack until about 3:00 in the morning, Akdoğan also pointed out that most of the eye-witnesses are wounded, adding: “The host of the wedding is our relative; they also came to this town in Antep during 90’s, like many other people here. So, everybody here knows each other. Most of those who lost their lives and those wounded are either friends or relatives. In our weddings, people usually dress up in traditional Kurdish outfits and we play Kurdish songs. So, I think that the wedding was targeted on purpose.”

‘Two people ran away after the explosion’

Özay Güney, who also speaks as an eye-witness, says he went to the site about half an hour after the explosion and helped along with carrying the wounded.

Mentioning that one of the families lost 7 members, while another lost 5, Güney also says that people at the scene kept talking about two people running away after the explosion.

The owner of the grocer: ‘Three strangers came; the youngest was very nervous’

Another witness shares: “Everyone knows each other in this town. Most of them are families that came to Antep in 90’s from Siirt, Şırnak, Van, Urfa. So, when a stranger comes, it catches the eye. People tell that half an hour before the explosion, three suspicious youngsters go to the grocer. They want a pen and water. And, the grocer asks them where they come from. They answer ‘from Adana.’ The word goes that the youngest was too nervous; others told him not to be afraid and drink water. And, when the grocer asks why he is nervous, they snap at him by saying ‘you ask too much’”

Protest of the government during the funeral

At one of the funerals held on Sunday, people protested the government.

When Gaziantep Municipality Head Fatma Şahin, AKP MPs, Şehitkamil Municipality Head Rıdvan Fadıloğlu, and Şahinbey Municipality Head Mehmet Tahmazoğlu arrived to the funeral at Yeşilkent cemetery, people began chanting slogans against the government. As police tried intervening with the protesting crowd, a skirmish took place between the people and security forces.

(Video shows people chanting out: ‘Murderer Erdoğan!’)