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Mass funeral for Turkey bombing victims

July 21, 2015 6:12 pm

A mass funeral ceremony has taken place in Turkey for most of the 32 activists killed in a suicide bomb attack in Suruc, near the Syrian border.
Mourners wept, shouted slogans and clutched the coffins as they were lined up in the courtyard of a mosque.

They were then taken to their home towns for burial.

Turkey’s PM says the authorities have identified the suspected bomber, who is thought to have had links with the Islamic State (IS) group.

The activists, mainly university students, were members of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations.

They were holding a news conference when the bomb ripped through Soruc’s Amara Cultural Centre on Monday afternoon. They had been planning to travel to Syria to help rebuild the town of Kobane.

The mass funeral for 25 of the victims took place in the south-eastern city of Gaziantep following post-mortem examinations.

The coffins were wrapped in red shrouds, with the name of each victim written in black capitals on a white piece of paper and attached to their coffin.

Hundreds of mourners shouted slogans against the IS jihadists, and chants critical of the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who opponents accuse of not doing enough to crack down on IS.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, speaking near the scene of the blast, said the suspect’s international and domestic links were being investigated, and there was a “high probability” that IS was to blame.

He said 29 of the 100 people who were injured were still being treated in hospital.