Ankara blast: At least 28 dead in Turkish capital explosion
February 17, 2016 5:51 pm
A large explosion in the Turkish capital, Ankara, has left at least 28 people dead and 61 injured, Turkish officials have said.
A vehicle full of explosives was detonated as military buses were passing by, according to the Ankara governor’s office.
The blast happened in an area close to parliament and Turkey’s military headquarters.
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag called it an “act of terrorism”.
Large plumes of smoke were seen rising from the area and witnesses said the blast was heard all over the city.
Ambulances and fire engines were sent to the scene.
Turkey’s Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has cancelled a trip to Brussels.
Turkey has been hit by a serious of attacks recently, and there have been increasing concerns that the country could be targeted by another big attack, the BBC’s Selin Girit in Istanbul reports.
It is not clear who was behind the latest violence; security sources blamed both so-called Islamic State (IS) and militants from the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Reuters reported.
The PKK has been fighting for autonomy for Turkey’s Kurdish minority for decades and has carried out regular attacks on Turkish security forces.
The blast in Ankara comes as Turkey steps up its involvement in the conflict in neighbouring Syria.
It has been shelling the Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria, who it sees as allied to the PKK.
Turkey has also allowed the coalition bombing IS to use one of its air bases.