At least 28 die in terror attack in Turkey’s capital Ankara

At least 28 die and 61 others injured in terror attack targeting military convoy in Turkey’s capital Ankara

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Smoke rises from a burning bus after an explosion in Merasim street at the intersection of Inonu Boulevard and Dikmen avenue in Turkey's capital Ankara on February 17, 2016.

Updated Feb 18, 2016

A terror attack has targeted military vehicles carrying personnel in Turkey’s capital Ankara, Turkish police reported late on Wednesday.

Speaking at a press conference following the attack, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesperson Numan Kurtulmus said 28 people died and 61 others were injured in the terror attack.

Kurtulmus said that both civilian and soldiers died in the attack.

The deputy prime minister also said, "Seven officials from the public prosecutor's office have been ordered to launch a comprehensive investigation into the attack."

Kurtulmus also condemned the incident and said it was clear the attack was well planned.

He stressed the attack not only targeted military personnel but all Turkish citizens and vowed to "shed all light" on the attack.

"It is not yet clear who was behind this deadly attack,” he added.

The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) earlier confirmed that a bomb-laden vehicle targeted a military convoy, calling the incident "an act of terrorism."

Issuing a written statement immediately after the attack, the TAF said that the explosion targeted military service buses as they were waiting at traffic lights.

The army did not say how many military personnel were on board the buses.

According to security sources, four military vehicles and a nearby civilian vehicle were severely damaged in the attack.

The bombing reportedly took place at the height of evening rush hour between the buildings of the Turkish Grand National Assembly and Turkish Air Force Command in Ankara.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan indicated that "fight against the pawns that carry out such attacks, which know no moral or humanitarian bounds, and the forces behind them," will continue with more determination every day.

"Our determination to respond in kind to attacks taking place inside and outside our borders is getting stronger with such acts," Erdogan said in a statement. "It must be known that Turkey will not shy away from using its right to self-defence at any time, any place or any occasion."

Erdogan cancelled an official visit to Azerbaijan, presidential sources said.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has also cancelled an official visit to Brussels after the attack.

Turkey has been facing security threats from several terror organisations, such as the PKK and DAESH.

Ankara was previously targeted by twin suicide bombings carried out by DAESH terrorists in October 10, 2015. At least 103 civilians were killed and more than 500 others were injured in what was the deadliest terror attack in Turkey’s modern history.

Turkey also has long been confronted with armed attacks in its southeastern regions by the PKK, which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and EU.

The terrorist group resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state after unilaterally ending a two-year ceasefire in late July 2015.

Since then, more than 300 members of the security forces have died and thousands of PKK terrorists have been killed in operations across Turkey and northern Iraq.

TRTWorld and agencies