The Latest: Vladimir Putin Extends Condolences To Turkey

ISTANBUL (AP) — The Latest on events in Turkey (all times local):

9:55 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his condolences in a telegram to Turkey's president following the attack on a Kurdish wedding party, which he says shows the international community must work together in fighting terrorism.

The Kremlin said Putin on Sunday conveyed Russia's readiness to increase counter-terrorism cooperation with Turkey, including following through on agreements the two presidents reached during their recent talks in Russia.

Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met two weeks ago for the first time since they decided to mend relations soured by Turkey's downing of a Russian military aircraft along the Syrian border in November.

Putin's telegram said Sunday's attack was shocking in its "cruelty and cynicism" and once again showed that "terrorism doesn't recognize not only the laws of civilized society but also the very basic norms of human morality."

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4:25 p.m.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has sent a condolence telegram to Turkey following the deadly attack on a Kurdish wedding party, saying Germany stands on Turkey's side in the "fight against terrorism."

Merkel said Sunday it was with her "deepest sorrow" that she learned of the attack.

She says "once again innocent men, women and children are the victims of cowardly and perfidious violence; I condemn this attack in the strongest terms."

She says Germany's thoughts are with the victims and their families, and she wished those wounded speedy recoveries.

Merkel says "I assure you that the German government will continue to stand closely at Turkey's side in the fight against terrorism."

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3:35 p.m.

Turkey's president says the suicide bomber in the wedding party attack that killed dozens was between 12 and 14 years old.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave the information in a live nationally-televised address in front of Istanbul city Hall.

At least 50 people were killed and dozens of others wounded in the attack late Saturday in the southeastern city of Gaziantep. Erdogan blamed the Islamic State group for the attack.

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3:30 p.m.

A pro-Kurdish political party has condemned the attack on a Kurdish wedding party in southeastern Turkey that killed at least 50 people and wounded dozens of others.

The People's Democratic Party, or HDP, blamed Islamic State for the attack in Gaziantep after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said the extremist group was behind the bombing.

The HDP said "we condemn and curse the ones who launched this attack, both the forces and ideology behind their actions."

The party also suggested that IS carried out the attack hours after another Kurdish political party announced plans to negotiate to try to end a three-decade conflict between Kurdish militants and the Turkish government.

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2:05 p.m.

The U.S. ambassador to Turkey has condemned the "barbaric attack" on an outdoor wedding party that killed 50 and wounded dozens of others.

John Bass said "we stand by our ally Turkey and pledge to continue to work closely together to defeat the common threat of terrorism."

Turkey's president has blamed the Islamic State group for the bombing in the southeastern city of Gaziantep, near the border with Syria.

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2 p.m.

Pope Francis has led hundreds of people in silent prayer for the victims of the Turkish wedding attack.

At his weekly Sunday noontime blessing, Francis said he had heard the "sad news" of the attack. After a moment of silent prayer, Francis led tourists and pilgrims in St. Peter's Square in reciting the Ave Maria.

He concluded by asking "for the gift of peace for everyone."

Turkey's president has blamed the Islamic State group for the bombing of an outdoor wedding party near Syria's border that killed 50 people and wounded dozens of others.

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11:15 a.m.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency has reported that the death toll in the outdoor wedding party attack in southeastern Turkey has risen to 50.

The report said the new figure came from the Gaziantep governor's office. Previously, the number of dead was 30 with 94 others wounded.

Officials say Saturday's attack in Gaziantep, near Syria's border, appeared to be a suicide bombing.

Turkey's president has blamed the Islamic State group for the attack.

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10:30 am.

Turkey's president has blamed the Islamic State group for the bombing of an outdoor wedding party in the southeast that killed 30 people and wounded 94 others.

Officials say Saturday's attack in Gaziantep, near Syria's border, appeared to be a suicide bombing.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a statement early Sunday saying that IS was "the most likely perpetrator of the Gaziantep attack."

Erdogan said there was "absolutely no difference" between IS, Kurdish rebels and the movement of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, calling them terrorist groups.

Turkey has seen a spate of attacks in recent months and a failed military coup on July 15, which the government blames on Gulen's movement. Gulen denies any involvement.

Source : https://townhall.com/news/politics-elections/2016/08/21/the-latest-report-turkey-wedding-attack-toll-rises-to-50-n2207777

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The Latest: Vladimir Putin Extends Condolences To Turkey