June 25, 2015 / 11:05 AM / 2 years ago

Pro-Kurdish party says Kobani 'massacre' reflects Turkey support for Islamic State

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party described an Islamic State attack on the Syrian border town of Kobani as a massacre and blamed it on Turkish state support for the militants, comments which will fuel tension in Ankara amid attempts to form a government.

Islamic State fighters launched simultaneous attacks against the Syrian government and Kurdish militia overnight, with at least one car bomb in an area near the border crossing with Turkey. Hospital officials said at least 15 people were killed and 70 wounded.

“The Turkish government has supported ISIL for years. Today’s massacre is a part of this support,” said Figen Yuksekdag, the co-leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), referring to Islamic State.

The pro-Kurdish HDP entered parliament for the first time after clearing a 10 percent threshold in the June 7 elections.

Its success helped to deprive the governing AK Party founded by President Tayyip Erdogan of a majority for the first time in over a decade. The AKP now needs to find a coalition partner.

“The remarks of Turkish politicians are null and void for us. It is up to the Turkish government to prove it does not support ISIL,” she added.

Turkey, a Sunni Muslim nation with a secular constitution, is a member of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, although its partners have urged it to do more.

Yuksekdag also told reporters there was a “high probability” that the attackers on Thursday had entered Kobani from Turkey. Ankara has denied such allegations and said the attack was staged from Jarablus, to the west of Kobani.

Reporting by Gulsen Solaker; Writing by Daren Butler; editing by David Dolan and Dominic Evans

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