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Turkey strikes IS targets in North Syria

Turkish military aims to open a corridor for moderate rebels with the fresh attack. (Representational photo) Photograph: (Getty)

Agencies Ankara, Turkey Aug 23, 2016, 01.05 AM (IST)

Turkey's military fired on Syrian Kurdish targets 20 times with artillery at Manbij in northern Syria, a Turkish official said, adding that the military was continuing to hit Islamic State targets in the Syrian town of Jarablus on the border with Turkey.

"The fundamental aim in the latest operation is to open a corridor for moderate rebels," the official said.

BBC understands the fresh offensive was triggered after IS allegedly perpetrated a bomb attack in a Kurdish wedding in the city of Gaziantep, killing 54 people. 

Meanwhile, Turkey on Monday went back on claims that a child bomber linked to Islamic State (IS) jihadists carried out the deadly suicide bombing close to Syria, saying it had no clue who was behind the attack.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Ankara could not confirm who was the perpetrator of the attack, apparently contradicting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who had said it was a child bomber acting on IS orders.

"We do not have a clue about who the perpetrators behind the attack were. Early information on who did the attack, in what organisation's name, is unfortunately not right," Yildirim told reporters in Ankara.

His comments were in stark contract with those by Erdogan who said on Sunday that the bomber was a child aged between 12-14 acting on orders of IS jihadists.

Yildirim described as "rumours" whether the attack was conducted by a child or an adult, while insisting security agencies would continue their work to find out who was responsible.

"Those who were behind the attack will be revealed, there is no doubt about this."

The Hurriyet daily said DNA tests were under way to ascertain the bomber`s identity, nationality and gender.

Earlier Turkish press reports said security forces believed the attack had been timed as retaliation by jihadists for offensives both by Kurdish militias and pro-Ankara Syrian opposition forces against IS in Syria.

(Agencies)

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