Deadly explosion rocks Turkish capital Ankara as 95 confirmed dead, 246 injured in 'suicide' attack
Published 10/10/2015 | 11:01
At least 86 people are dead and 186 wounded in a terror attack that targeted a peace rally in the Turkish capital Ankara.
Two explosions rocked the main train station in the city, were thousands had gathered to protest against the long-running conflict between Turkey and the Kurdish separatist group, the PKK.
Government officials say the blasts were a terrorist attack and are investigating reports that a suicide bomber was behind at least one of the explosions.
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"Like other terror attacks, the one at the Ankara train station targets our unity, togetherness, brotherhood and future," President Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement, calling for "solidarity and determination".
Bodies covered by flags and banners, including those of the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), lay scattered on the road among bloodstains and body parts, witnesses said.
"I heard one big explosion first and tried to cover myself as the windows broke. Right away there was the second one," said Serdar, 37, who was working at a newspaper stand in the train station. "There was shouting and crying and I stayed under the newspapers for a while. I could smell burnt flesh."
A Reuters reporter at the scene saw at least 20 bodies covered by flags, with bloodstains and body parts scattered on the road.
“Bodies lay in two circles around 20 metres apart where the explosions had taken place,” they reported.
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Witnesses said the blasts were seconds apart shortly after 10am and were so powerful they rocked nearby high-rise buildings.
Those killed and injured had gathered for a rally organised by unions and civil society groups, the ministry said in a written statement.
Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu told a news conference that 86 people had been killed and 186 wounded, 28 of whom were in intensive care. The death toll could rise further.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blasts, which come three weeks ahead of a parliamentary election.
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A rally for the pro-Kurdish HDP party was bombed in June, ahead of last year’s general election.
The country has been in a heightened state of alert since starting a “synchronised war on terror” in July, including airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in Syria and PKK bases in northern Iraq.
Designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, the PKK launched a separatist insurgency in 1984 in the south-eastern part of the country.
More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict to date.