“Initial evidence suggests it was a Daesh attack,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.
Also placing blame on the Islamic State, the pro-Kurdish political party HDP said the wedding was for one of its members. The bride and groom survived, but not the groom’s uncle and sister.
A statement released by the party said it was “quite significant” that the attack came hours after a militant Kurdish organization announced plans to negotiate a peace deal with the Turkish government. The child bomber struck as guests were leaving, reportedly targeting a group of people dancing.
The Islamic State has tried to inflame Turkey’s ethnic tensions in past attacks, launching its deadliest one in October, when a pair of suicide bombers struck a rally of Kurdish and labor activists in Ankara, killing more than 100 people.
The wedding bombing came hours after Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said his country would allow Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad to temporarily stay in office during a transition of power. Turkey has previously called for Assad’s immediate ouster and given extensive support to Syrian rebels. Yildirim’s conciliatory statement followed an unprecedented attack by Syrian government warplanes on Kurdish rebels, who are seen as a paramount security threat by the Turkish government.