Connect with us

World

Second car bomb in a month kills 32 in Turkish capital Ankara

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Second car bomb in a month kills 32 in Turkish capital Ankara | Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Second car bomb in a month kills 32 in Turkish capital Ankara
Phuket Gazette / Reuters


ANKARA: A car bomb tore through a crowded transport hub in the Turkish capital, Ankara, on Sunday, killing at least 34 people and wounding 125 in the second such attack in the administrative heart of the city in under a month.

The blast, which could be heard several kilometers away, sent burning debris showering down over an area a few hundred meters from the Justice and Interior Ministries, a top courthouse, and the former office of the prime minister.

“These attacks, which threaten our country’s integrity and our nation’s unity and solidarity, do not weaken our resolve in fighting terrorism but bolster our determination,” President Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement.

Two senior security officials told Reuters the first findings suggested that the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency for Kurdish autonomy, or an affiliated group, was responsible.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Interior Minister Efkan Ala said the name of the group behind the attack would likely be announced on Monday after initial investigations were completed.

“Tonight, civilian citizens waiting at a bus stop were targeted in a terrorist attack with a bomb-laden car,” Ala told reporters after a meeting with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the head of the intelligence agency and security chiefs.

“Significant findings have been made, but the organization behind this will be announced once the investigation has been finalized,” he said.

NATO member Turkey faces multiple security threats. As part of a U.S.-led coalition, it is fighting Islamic State in neighboring Syria and Iraq. It is also battling PKK militants in its southeast, where a two-and-a-half-year ceasefire collapsed last July, triggering the worst violence since the 1990s.

The bombing came two days after the U.S. Embassy issued a warning that there was information regarding a potential attack on government buildings in the Bahcelievler area of Ankara, just a few miles away from the blast site.

The United States condemned the attack, saying in a White House National Security Council statement: “This horrific act is only the most recent of many terrorist attacks perpetrated against the Turkish people. The United States stands together with Turkey, a NATO ally and valued partner, as we confront the scourge of terrorism.”

Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said 30 of those killed had died at the scene, while the four others died in hospital. At least one or two of the dead were attackers, he said, and 19 of the 125 wounded were in critical condition.

PELLETS AND NAILS

One of the security officials said the car used in the attack was a BMW driven from Viransehir, a town in the largely Kurdish southeast, and that the PKK and the affiliated Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK) appeared to be responsible.

TAK claimed responsibility for the previous car bombing, just a few blocks away, on Feb. 17. That attack targeted a military bus as it waited at traffic lights, and killed 29 people, most of them soldiers, near the military headquarters, parliament and other key government institutions.

A police source said there appeared to have been two attackers, one a man and the other a woman, whose severed hand was found 300 meters from the blast site.

The explosives were the same kind as those used on Feb. 17 and the bomb had been reinforced with pellets and nails to cause maximum damage, the source told Reuters.

The pro-Kurdish opposition HDP, parliament’s third largest party, which Erdogan accuses of being an extension of the PKK, condemned what it described as a “savage attack”.

State broadcaster TRT said the car had exploded at a major transport hub, hitting a bus carrying some 20 people near the central Guven Park and Kizilay Square at 6:43 p.m. (1643 GMT).

An Ankara court ordered a ban on access to Facebook, Twitter and other sites in Turkey after images from the bombing were shared on social media, broadcasters CNN Turk and NTV reported.

SECURITY THREATS

World leaders joined in condemning the bombing. British Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “appalled,” while French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault described it as a “cowardly attack”. Russian President Vladimir Putin described it as “inhuman,” his spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies.

“There can be no justification for such heinous acts of violence. All NATO allies stand in solidarity with Turkey, resolute in our determination to fight terrorism in all its forms,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the country’s ambassador to Turkey, James Larsen, was in a car at an intersection 20 meters from where the bomb was detonated.

“It really does bring it home to us that a terrorist attack can take place at any time, anywhere,” Bishop told Nine Network television while on a diplomatic trip to Fiji. “We utterly condemn these barbaric attacks on civilian populations.”

“It was an appalling thing for him to witness, being so close, but he’s fine,” she added of the ambassador.

Turkey sees the unrest in its largely Kurdish southeast as deeply linked to events in northern Syria, where the Kurdish YPG militia has been seizing territory as it fights both Islamic State and rebels battling President Bashar al-Assad.

Ankara fears those gains will stoke separatist ambitions among its own Kurds and has long argued that the YPG and PKK have close ideological and operational ties.

In its armed campaign in Turkey, the PKK has historically struck directly at the security forces and says that it does not target civilians. A direct claim of responsibility for Sunday’s bombing would indicate a major tactical shift.

Islamic State militants have been blamed for at least four bomb attacks on Turkey since June 2015, including a suicide bombing that killed 10 German tourists in the historic heart of Istanbul in January. Local jihadist groups and leftist radicals have also staged attacks in Turkey in the past.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Northern Thailand20 mins ago

Meteor causes explosion, green glow above Northern Thailand

Hua Hin2 hours ago

Elephant that broke into Hua Hin kitchen now in memes and ads

Tourism3 hours ago

Phuket governer reviews rules, new details for July 1 arrivals

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Shipment of 2 million Sinovac vaccines arrive from China

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Autopsy requested for young policeman with vaccine

Thailand7 hours ago

Despite corruption allegations, street lamp project continues in Samut Prakan

Thailand7 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Sandbox is GO, vaccine cocktails, US warning on Thai travel | June 23

Best of8 hours ago

Top 5 Provinces to visit near Bangkok

Tourism8 hours ago

CCSA gives details on “Phuket Sandbox” and “Samui Plus” travel schemes

Best of8 hours ago

Top 5 Cities to visit in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Gap between AstraZeneca vaccines cut from 16 to 12 to 8 weeks

Best of8 hours ago

Top 5 Steakhouses in Bangkok

Best of9 hours ago

Top 5 Pubs in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: Daily death count hits record high; provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

US is “unable” to provide Covid-19 vaccines to Americans who live overseas

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending