A large explosion in the Turkish capital, Ankara, has left at least 28 people dead and 61 injured
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. Some of the victims were civilians. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Turkish army strongly condemned the attack and called this “a treacherous terror act“. The government and the opposition parties have also strongly condemned the incident.
In October, more than 100 people were killed in simultaneous explosions targeting a peace march in Ankara. That attack had polarised society further.
Whether Turkey can unify in pain this time round is yet to be seen.
Recent attacks in Turkey
January 2016: At least 10 people, mostly German tourists, are killed in a suspected IS suicide bombing in Istanbul
October 2015: More than a hundred people are killed in a double-suicide bombing at a Kurdish peace rally in Ankara
July 2015: In the predominantly Kurdish town of Suruc, near the Syrian border, over 30 people are killed in a suicide bombing, again blamed on IS
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.