Turkey seeks to identify IS child bomber who killed 54

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the IS group needed to be completely pushed out of the border zone inside Syria, amid Turkish media reports of an Ankara-backed offensive by rebels against the group.

The attack late Saturday on a crowded street wedding in the city of Gaziantep was the latest in a devastating series of bombings in Turkey at a time when the country is riven by internal upheaval and shaken by the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the bomber was aged “between 12 and 14” and that initial findings showed it had been “perpetrated by Daesh (IS)”.

Media said the majority of those dead were children or teenagers, with 29 of the 44 victims identified so far aged under 18. At least 22 victims were under 14, a Turkish official added.

There were no further details on the bomber, but Erdogan said IS had been trying to “position itself” in Gaziantep, which lies just 60 kilometres (37 miles) north of Syria and is a major hub for refugees from the more than five-year civil war.

The death toll rose to 54 after three more died in hospital in the early morning, the Dogan news agency reported.

Sixty-six people were still in hospital, 14 of them in a serious condition.

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