A hospital in south east Turkey is continuing to care for the survivors of one of the country’s worst civilian attacks in recent times.
The death toll was confirmed as being 44 people were dead including many women and children after masked gunmen, armed with assault rifles and grenades raided a wedding party in the mainly Kurdish Mardin province. With a police and army operation underway Turkey’s Interior Minister, Besir Atalay has announced that eight individuals have been detained and that initial evidence does not point to terrorist involvement. Witnesses say the assailants ran from the village of Bilge not far from the provincial capital of Mardin, on the Syrian border, before soldiers arrived and cut off local access. Around 200 people had been attending the wedding in which the daughter of the village chief was being married – her fate and that of her husband are unknown. It is reported that a blood feud may have sparked the fighting. The two families included members of the Village Guard. A heavily armed state-backed militia set up to combat Kurdish separatist fighters.