Deadly Blast Rips through Ankara: Death Toll Rising

*Source: T24 ©

Deadly Blast Rips through Ankara: Death Toll Rising

A large explosion near Ankara’s Eskişehir Yolu detonated on February 17. The explosion, reportedly caused by a car bomb, was carried out close to military headquarters, the parliament and various government ministries, including the Ministry of Interior.

Hürriyet Daily News reported that the target of the attack was shuttle buses transporting military personnel, which has been confirmed by Ankara’s governor Mehmet Kılıçlar. The government is treating this as an act of terrorism but still looking into the cause.

So far at least 28 people have been reported dead, with 68 injured; including military personnel. The number is believed to be much higher however as a large fire is obstructing rescue operations, added to by smaller fires caused by burning car engines and gasoline in the area.

The explosion was heard across Ankara. There is a large plume of smoke still visible above the city, showing the devastation caused by the blast. Roads in the area have now been blocked off for security purposes.

Prime Minister Davutoğlu has cancelled his forthcoming trip to Brussels while this situation unfolds, and is to attend immediate security meetings. A broadcast ban has already been put in place on reporting non-official news of the bombing; however various news outlets have continued their coverage.

The timing of the explosion, during rush hour, has added to fears of growing casualties from the blast. The Health Ministry has sent 20 ambulances to the scene according to CNN Türk and is calling for blood donations.

No one has claimed responsibility so far, but this is the fourth in a series of attacks on Turkish soil over the past few months, most of which have been linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The ISIL bombing in Ankara last year killed over 100 people, in the worst terrorist attack in Turkish history.

Independent Turkey

Indepedent Turkey, “Deadly Blast Rips through Ankara: Death Toll Rising”, Independent Turkey, 17 February 2016, London: Centre for Policy and Research on Turkey (Research Turkey). Original link: http://researchturkey.org/?p=10792

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