At least 37 dead and 125 wounded in an explosion in Ankara

bus-nombreux-vehicules-eteThree persons succumbed to their injuries in hospital, bringing the balance of the car bomb attack occurred Sunday evening in the center of Ankara 37 deaths, said Monday the Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu.

“We lost three of our people to the hospital. At this time 37 people died in this terrorist attack, “he told journalists, adding that” at least one of the victims “was the bomber.

According to the Turkish government, the car bomb exploded at 18:45 local time at a bus stop from the popular Kizilay square in the heart of Ankara, home to many shops and where spend several bus lines and subway.

Several buses and many vehicles were totally destroyed by the powerful blast, found an AFP photographer.

“Thirty people were killed instantly and four others to the hospital,” said at a press conference the Minister of Health Mehmet Müezzinoglu after a security meeting convened around the Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

In the month 125 were injured, 19 of whom were on Sunday night in a serious condition, said the health minister.

According to Müezzinoglu and colleague of the Interior Efkan Ala, the attack was committed by a vehicle in which there were “one or two” people who deliberately targeted the bus stop instead of Kizilay.

The attack was not immediately claimed but his procedure approximates another suicide car bomb that targeted on 17 February in Ankara, close to Kizilay Square, buses carrying military personnel and 29 people.

A splinter group of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK Kurdish separatists), the Freedom Falcons of Kurdistan (TAK), had assumed responsibility three days later and announced new attacks, particularly against Turkish tourist sites.

“Practical Information”

The Turkish Islamic-conservative President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had in turn attributed the attack to the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), with the support of the PKK. Both movements had categorically rejected the accusations.

After the third attack in five months in Ankara, the two leaders refused Sunday to challenge any group.

“We have concrete information on the terrorist group behind the attack,” said the head of government in a statement, “we will quickly complete results of the survey and we will make them public.”

For his part, Erdogan denounced “attacks against the unity of our country and our people” and announced a response. “Our state will never renounce to make use of its right to self-defense against any terrorist threat,” he said.

French President Francois Hollande expressed his “profound solidarity” to the Turkish people and assured his counterpart for his support in “the fight against terrorism.”

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has revealed that its ambassador in Ankara had narrowly escaped the attack. “It was in the car when the bomb exploded, it was only 20 meters,” she said.

The US Embassy in Turkey had warned its citizens on Friday a “possible terrorist attack” in Ankara to “the Turkish government buildings and buildings” in the neighborhood where the attack was perpetrated on 17 February.

Ban on internet

Sunday evening, an Ankara judge ordered the prohibition of the dissemination of any information about the attack on the Internet, especially on social networks Facebook and Twitter where circulating many photos and videos.

Turkey lives since last summer on high alert after a series of deadly attacks, four of which were allocated by the authorities in the Islamic State group (EI).

The deadliest of them on 10 October, was carried out by two suicide bombers who blew themselves up in the middle of demonstrators in the Kurdish cause in front of the central train station of Ankara, causing 103 deaths.

On January 12, 12 German tourists were killed in another suicide bombing in Istanbul’s tourist district in Istanbul.

Long accused of complacency towards the most radical rebel groups in war against the regime in Damascus, Ankara joined last summer antidjihadiste the coalition and multiplied the arrests to fight against the cells of the IU on its soil.

Turkey is further shaken since last July by the resumption of the Kurdish conflict. Intense fighting between security forces PKK in many cities of the southeast of the country, populated mainly by Kurds.

The fighting shattered the peace talks with the Turkish government with the PKK in the fall of 2012 in an attempt to end a rebellion that resulted in the death of over 40 000 people since 1984.

Share
The Stopru