A suicide car bomb in Turkey’s capital killed at least 27 people and wounded many more, the third time the city has been hit in five months.
Two public buses were completely burned out in the blast, which occurred near a bus station about two hundred meters from Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s office at around 7 p.m. local time on Sunday. The local governor’s office said at least 75 people were injured, state-run media reported. Police immediately cordoned off the area near Ankara’s Guvenpark, as authorities investigated.
The explosion comes less than a month after a Feb. 17 car bombing near military buildings in the capital killed at least 30 people, most of them soldiers. That attack was claimed by a group called the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, or TAK, which is linked to Kurdish PKK separatists. A pair of Islamic State suicide bombers last October killed more than 100 people in Ankara.
TAK has pledged to stage armed attacks across Turkey in response to the army’s recent urban warfare against PKK militia in the country’s southeast. The Turkish government blames the PKK or an affiliate for the bombing, TRT World reported, without saying where it obtained the information.
No Longer Secure
“In 2016, with a combination of regional conflict as well as threats from Islamic State and Kurdish militants in the southeast, Turkey is increasingly seen as part of the Middle East rather an island of security outside of it,” Jonathan Friedman, an assistant director at global risk consultancy Stroz Friedberg, said by e-mail.
Sunday’s blast blew out the windows of cars and buildings hundreds of meters from the site, where bodies were clearly visible shortly after the attack.
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Davutoglu summoned top security and intelligence officials for a meeting in Ankara following the blast, CNNTurk television said.
The U.S. Embassy in Ankara two days ago warned of a terrorist plot against Turkish government buildings and lodgings in the Bahcelievler area of Ankara, citing what it described as specific information.
(Updates with attack location in second paragraph.)
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