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At least 27 killed as blast hits southeast Turkey

At least 27 people have been killed in a blast in Turkish border district Suruc of southeastern province of Sanliurfa, the interior ministry has said.

"The death toll is feared to rise," it said Monday, adding that nearly 100 people were under treatment at Suruc and Sanliurfa state hospitals.

A team of experts has been sent to Suruc, neighboring the Syrian town of Kobani, and security forces have taken measures around the area, the ministry said.

"Turkey condemns the perpetrators of this heinous attack that targeted the peace environment, and offers condolences to the deceased and wishes a speedy recovery to the wounded," it added.

The ministry called for calm, describing the blast as a “terror attack that targeted our country’s unity and integrity”.

It also pledged to find the perpetrators and to bring them to account.

According to local sources, the blast targeted members of a pro-Kurdish group, Federation of Socialist Youth Associations, who gathered at the yard of the Amara Cultural Center run by the local municipality.

Meanwhile, Turkey Prime Ministry Office said three ministers — Deputy PM, Interior Minister and Labor Minister — were set to visit Suruc later in the day to investigate the scene.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan phoned Sanliurfa Governor Izzettin Kucuk and other authorities to get information about the attack, presidential sources said, adding that Erdogan made the call upon landing in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to attend the 41st anniversary of Peace and Freedom Day which marks Turkey's 1974 operation after a Greek coup.

Deputy PM Yalcin Akdogan condemned the "despicable" incident on Twitter, saying such terrorist attacks on Turkey's integrity and peace would never reach their goal.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, chairman of Republican People's Party, or CHP, also condemned the "insidious" attack, saying the party sent an investigation team to the area. The CHP also called on its local members to donate blood to the people wounded in the blast.

Meanwhile, the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has announced that they will hold an extraordinary board meeting Tuesday morning at the party's headquarters in capital Ankara.

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