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Washington and UN condemn Turkey wedding bombing

The attack killed 51 people in the southern city of Gaziantep near the Syrian border

Published: Updated:

The United States on Sunday blasted the “heinous” suicide bombing that killed 51 people in Turkey, and offered its assistance to Ankara in the fight against “the scourge of terrorism.”

“The United States strongly condemns yesterday’s heinous attack,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement.

“We extend heartfelt condolences to the friends and families of the victims and we wish a full and speedy recovery for the many who were wounded,” he added.

“We stand by our ally and partner Turkey and reaffirm our commitment to defeating the common threat of terrorism.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that a child as young as 12 carried out Saturday’s attack at a wedding in the town of Gaziantep near the Syrian border, probably for ISIS.

A spokesman for the National Security Council, based in the White House, condemned the attack “in the strongest possible terms.”

“The perpetrators of this barbaric act cynically and cowardly targeted a wedding, killing dozens and leaving scores wounded,” NSC spokesman Ned Price said.

“We are in close touch with Turkish authorities, and Vice President Biden will visit Ankara on Wednesday, August 24 to reaffirm our commitment to work together with Turkey, our valued NATO Ally and partner, to confront the scourge of terrorism.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon decried the bombing and called for swift punishment for the perpetrators.

“The secretary-general condemns yesterday’s terrorist attack on a wedding party in the city of Gaziantep, Turkey,” Ban s office said in a statement.

“This act, reportedly carried out by a suicide bomber, killed at least 50 people and wounded dozens of others,” the UN chief said. “The Secretary-General expresses his deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the government and people of Turkey. He wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.”

“The Secretary-General hopes that the perpetrators of this act will be quickly identified and brought to justice,” the UN statement added.

“He again stresses the need to intensify regional and international efforts to prevent and combat terrorism and violent extremism.”