Blast Hits Ankara

AP Photo

A blast hit the center of the Turkish capital of Ankara on Sunday, killing at least 34 people and injuring 125 others according to Mehmet Müezzinoğlu, the Turkish health minster.

The explosion was caused by a car bomb that targeted a bus stop, the Turkish interior minster said.

At least 30 citizens were killed at the scene of the incident while four others died on their way to the hospital, Müezzinoğlu said.  At least 19 people remained in serious condition, he added.

The Daily Sabah news outlet reported that initial findings suggested that the PKK or an affiliated group carried out the attack.  The interior minister, Efkan Ala, said an investigation is expected to be complete tomorrow, with the name of the responsible group to be released then.

A report from the Ankara governor’s office said the blast took place in Guven Park, a central district of Kızılay.

AP Photo

AP Photo

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was expected to convene an emergency security meeting in response to the blast.

Hurriyet reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in Istanbul at the time, was briefed about the blast and was expected to return to Ankara.  In a written statement condemning the attack, Erdogan said that “Turkey has become a target of terror attacks due to the instabilities in the region.”

In the aftermath of the attack, Twitter and Facebook were both apparently blocked in Turkey, after a court ruled that images of the attack were being shared on social media.

On Friday, the United States State Department warned Americans over a potential terror attack in the capital.

“The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens that there is information regarding a potential terrorist plot to attack Turkish government buildings and housing located in the Bahçelievler area of Ankara. U.S. citizens should avoid this area,” according to the statement.

This is the third blast to hit Ankara over the last several months. Over 100 people were killed last October when militants targeted a rally near the city’s main train station.  Last month, at least 29 people were killed when a car bomb targeted military buses.

 

Garret Pustay
World News-Politics Contributor

World News-Politics Contributor at The Atlas Times.


Avid follower of international news, with a particular interest on the Middle East. A frequent commuter between New York and the Middle East.


Twitter: @garretpustay


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