IPANEWS

Life sentences for eight suspects who were charged for two ISIS-linked bomb attacks in Turkey

Eight suspects have sentenced to aggravated to life sentences in relation to two 2016 bomb attacks that killed 57 civilians and three police officers.

The attacks linked to the Islamic State (ISIS) and happened in the southeast of Turkey.

A report by Aydinlik daily on Thursday said a Kayseri court gave eight suspects 58 aggravated life sentences over charges including “attempting to abolish the constitutional order” and “intentionally killing” 57 people.

One of the suspects received three more life sentences for “intentionally killing” three police officers.

The first bomb attack targeting a Kurdish street wedding in southeastern Gaziantep province killed 57 civilians including 41 children and injured 86 people on August 20, while the second attack killed three police officers in October 2016.

A report by Turkish Diken said the eight suspects also received 18 years for every person injured in the first ISIS-linked bomb attack on the charge of “attempted murder.”

A total of 12 suspects were tried at the Kayseri 4th High Criminal Court on Thursday on charges that include “being a member of a terrorist organization, “attempting to abolish the constitutional order,” “intentional killing” and “attempted murder.”

While two of them were acquitted of the charges, two other suspects were sentenced to nine years in prison on the charge of “being a member of a terrorist organization.”

Though no terrorist group claimed responsibility for the bombing on August 20, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after the attack it had probably been orchestrated by ISIS. Erdogan added the suicide bomber was believed to be between 12 and 14 years old.

The attack came hours after then-Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said Turkey could play an active role in the Syrian civil war.

Self-proclaimed “caliphate” of ISIS, declared in 2014, has collapsed since then when it controlled large parts of Syria and Iraq. A last pocket of militants is battling in a small area they control in eastern Syria.

At the start of the Syrian conflict, Turkey was the main route for foreign fighters to cross into Syria to join the jihadists. Turkey later cracked down on the border and stepped up arrests of suspected foreign jihadists.

Turkey releases ISIS suicide bomber

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