Blast hits Ankara, causing deaths, injuries


ANKARA: A explosion ripped through a busy square in central Ankara on Sunday, killing several people and wounding many more, according to local media reports, which described it as an attack.

Ambulances rushed to the scene of the explosion on Kizilay square, a key shopping and transport hub close to the city’s embassy area. Turkish television pictures showed burnt-out vehicles including a bus. The incident comes just weeks after 29 people were killed in a suicide car bomb attack targeting the military in Ankara on February 17 that was claimed by a Kurdish militant group.

The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) said it  carried out the February bombing as revenge for operations by the Turkish military in the southeast of the country and warned foreign tourists not to visit Turkey. Turkish security forces have been waging a major offensive against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) since December, imposing strict 24-hour curfews in a number of towns and cities in the southeast.

Sunday’s blast came as the authorities hit two more towns in the Kurdish-dominated southeast with curfews.    Turkey has been hit by a spate of deadly attacks since the middle of last year, most of them blamed on the Islamic State group.

In the deadliest bombing ever on Turkish soil, 103 people were killed and more than 500 wounded in twin suicide bombings targeting a pro-Kurdish peace rally in Ankara in October last year. AFP