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Acid attack on toddlers sparks outrage in Turkey

A three-year-old was left scarred and partially blind while another six children suffered burns

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Turkey was in shock on Thursday after a man threw acid at toddlers at a popular restaurant in Istanbul, injuring seven, media reports said.

A three-year-old was left scarred and partially blind while another six children suffered burns after the man sprayed them with acid in the playroom of the Develi restaurant in the city's upscale Atasehir dictrict, the Hurriyet daily said.

"Families are asking: 'who is this psycho?'" read the headline on Hurriyet, the country's best-selling newspaper, while renowned journalist Oguz Karamuk voiced widespread outrage with the Tweet: "it's truly horrible. God save us all".

Lawyers for the high-end meat restaurant said the attacker had been identified but was still on the run. The establishment said that there was no footage of the assault as their 120 security cameras were not working at the time.

News of the attack went viral on social networks, with many users asking why none of the cameras were active and warning children may not be safe in public playrooms.

The Vatan daily said the attacker was the ex-boyfriend of the playroom's babysitter, who it said was the real target of the acid.

Acid attacks are very rare in Turkey. In 2008, two schoolgirls in Mersin in the south of the country had acid thrown on their legs by attackers who said the skirts they were wearing were too short.