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Scores killed in explosion at Turkish cultural centre near Syrian border

Bulent Kilik / AFP file photo I A picture taken in Suruc in Turkey's Sanliurfa province near the border with Syria, shows Syrian Kurds returning to Kobane also known as Ain al-Arab, after clashes in the city, on June 27, 2015

An explosion killed at least 27 in a municipal culture center in Turkey's southeastern province of Şanlıurfa’s Monday, as scores of people have been hospitalized.

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An explosion has killed at least 27 in a municipal culture center in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa’s Suruç district, as scores of people have been hospitalized.

"We are concerned that the number of death will increase. The perpetrators will soon be found and put on trial," Turkey's interior minister said in a statement on July 20.

There is speculation that the blast was caused by a 18-year-old female suicide bomber from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS).

At least 300 members of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF) were staying at the Amara Culture Center as part of a summer expedition to help rebuild Kobane, which lies directly across the border from Suruç.

The culture center, which is run by the Suruç Municipality under the control of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), frequently hosts visiting journalists and volunteers who work with refugees from Kobane.

The hashtag #SuruçtaKatliamVar (There is a massacre in Suruç) entered the worldwide trending topics list on Twitter soon after the explosion.

Kadir Ergün, an eyewitness, told CNNTürk that he was 100 meters away from the explosion. "It is hard to describe it with words. Blood donations are urgently needed. The people of Suruç are now called to donate blood," he added.

"If it is Daesh [ISIL], it will not stay in Suruç. Very soon we could end up like Syria," said Muhsin Kızılkaya, a deputy from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

"It's a big massacre. The probability of a suicide bomber is very high," HDP deputy Leyla Güven told Habertürk. "Suspect information has been provided related to the number of deaths. Some say that everyone in the group died."

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