Date
25 March 2017
An ambulance arrives at the scene of a car bomb attack in Ankara. The government blamed terrorists for the carnage which killed 28 people and wounded dozens. Photo: Reuters
An ambulance arrives at the scene of a car bomb attack in Ankara. The government blamed terrorists for the carnage which killed 28 people and wounded dozens. Photo: Reuters

Car bomb kills 28 near Turkey military headquarters

A car bomb exploded near the military headquarters in the Turkish capital Ankara, killing 28 people and wounding dozens.

The blast took place next to army buses waiting for the traffic light to change in an area that also houses the Turkish parliament and other key government buildings, Reuters reports.

The Turkish military condemned what it described as a terrorist attack on the buses in the administrative heart of the NATO member’s capital.

The attack, the latest in a series of bombings in the past year mostly blamed on Islamic State, came as Turkey continued to be dragged eeper into the war in neighboring Syria while trying to contain some of the fiercest violence in decades in its predominantly Kurdish southeast.

President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey’s determination to fight those behind such acts would only get stronger and that it would not hesitate to exercise its right to self defense.

“We will continue our fight against the pawns that carry out such attacks, which know no moral or humanitarian bounds, and the forces behind them with more determination every day,” he said in a written statement.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said 28 people including soldiers and civilians were killed and 61 wounded in the blast, which occurred near a busy intersection less than 500 meters from parliament during the evening rush hour.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag described the attack as an act of terrorism and told parliament, which was in session at the time, that the car had exploded on a part of the street lined on both sides by military vehicles.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who had been due to attend meetings in Brussels on the migration crisis on Thursday, canceled the trip, an official in his office said. Erdogan postponed a planned visit to Azerbaijan.

A senior security source said initial signs indicated that Kurdish militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) were responsible. Separate security sources in the southeast, however, said they believed Islamic State militants may have been behind it.

“I heard a huge explosion. There was smoke and a really strong smell even though we were blocks away,” a Reuters witness said. “We could immediately hear ambulance and police car sirens rushing to the scene.”

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CG/RA

Ordnance experts search a bus for explosives near the scene of the car bomb attack. Photo: Bloomberg


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