44 killed in attack on wedding in Turkey

Masked assailants with grenades and automatic weapons attacked a wedding ceremony in southeast Turkey on Monday, killing 44 people and wounding 20 others. Two girls survived after the bodies of slain friends fell on top of them during the onslaught. NTV television quoted Deputy Gov. Ferhat Ozen of the province of Mardin as saying the nighttime attack occurred in the village of Bilge near the city of Mardin. Media outlets reported that a "blood feud" among families had led to the killings in a region where tribal ties and rivalries sometimes eclipse the power of the state. Citing Ozen, NTV said the motive of the attack could be a feud between rival groups of pro-government village guards who fight alongside Turkish troops against Kurdish rebels in the region.