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Turkey Says Syrian Border Must Be 'Completely Cleansed'

Turkey has said its border areas with Syria must be "completely cleansed" of the Islamic State group, after the government said the extremists were involved in a deadly attack in the country's south over the weekend.

Officials say a child suicide bomber carried out the August 20 attack on a wedding party in the southeastern city of Gaziantep that left 51 people dead and dozens of others wounded.

"Our border must be completely cleansed from Daesh," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in televised remarks on August 22, using an Arabic acronym for the IS group. "It is our most natural right to fight at home and abroad against such a terrorist organization."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on August 21 that the attack, the deadliest in Turkey so far this year, was carried out with the involvement of the militant group.

Turkey's Kurdish-dominated southeast has been hit by several deadly blasts over the past year, linked either to Kurdish separatist militants or the IS group.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP