Homeland Security

Iran Press TV

Car bomb rocks Turkish capital, '27 killed, 75 injured'

Iran Press TV

Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:4PM

A bomb blast has occurred in the center of the Turkish capital of Ankara, killing at least 27 people and injuring 75 more, the governor's office said.

The explosion took place near the Guven park in the Kizilay district of central Ankara on Sunday.

A senior security official said the blast was apparently caused by a car bomb.

A second security official said gunfire was heard after the blast.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility; however, a Turkish security official as saying that initial findings suggest that the bombing was carried out by the Kurdish militant group Kurdistan Workers' Party, also known as the PKK, or an affiliated group.

'According to initial findings, it seems that this attack has been carried out either by the PKK or an affiliated organization,' the official told Reuters.

The explosion occurred less than a month after a car bomb attack in central Ankara killed 29 people. Kurdish militants claimed responsibility for that attack.

On February 17, a car filled with explosives went off as military buses were passing by. A 26-year-old Turkish national born in the eastern city of Van from the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), a PKK splinter group, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The militant group said in a statement posted on its website that it carried out the attack in response to the policies of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In January, at least 10 people were killed in another bombing in Istanbul, which was blamed on Daesh militants. More than a hundred others were killed in a twin bomb blasts at a Kurdish peace rally in Ankara last October.

The Turkish army has been carrying out a military campaign in several regions with a majority Kurdish population in the past few months. The operations began in the wake of a deadly July 2015 bombing in the southern Turkish town of Suruc. More than 30 people died in the attack, which the Turkish government blamed on the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.

After the bombing, the PKK militants, who accuse the government in Ankara of supporting Daesh, engaged in a series of attacks against Turkish police and security forces, prompting the Turkish military operations.

The PKK militants have sought an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since the 1980s.

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