Islamic State is the focus of investigations into a twin suicide bombing that killed at least 97 people in the Turkish capital Ankara and investigators are close to identifying one of the suspects, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday (October 12).
Davutoglu said three groups had been suspected: the Kurdish PKK, the leftist DHKP-C and Islamic State, but that the modus operandi of the attack put Islamic State (also known as Daesh) in the frame.
“These three terrorist organisations are seen as potential suspects for this attack but when we looked at how the attack happened and the general tendency of the events Daesh has become the primary suspect.”
Speaking on Turkish broadcaster NTV in a live interview, Davutoglu also said Saturday’s (October 10) attack was an attempt to influence the outcome of a parliamentary election on November 1 and that necessary steps would be taken if security failures were found to have contributed to the bombing.
“It was definitely a suicide bombing… DNA tests are being conducted. It was determined how the suicide bombers got there…. We’re close to a name,” he said of the worst attack in Turkey of its kind.
Two senior security sources told Reuters on Sunday (October 11) that initial signs suggested Islamic State was behind the attack, and that it bore striking similarity to a July suicide bombing in Suruc near the Syrian border, also blamed on the radical Islamists.
The two explosions happened seconds apart on Saturday as hundreds gathered for a march organised by pro-Kurdish activists and civic groups to protest over a conflict between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants in the southeast.
The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which said it was the target of the attack, has put the death toll at 128 and said it had identified all but eight of those bodies. Davutoglu’s office has said 97 people were killed.
Thousands of people attended funerals in the Turkish city of Tunceli and the town of Suruc on Monday (October 12) for the burial of several victims of the twin suicide bombings which killed at least 97 people in the capital Ankara.
Grieving relatives, friends could be seen carrying the caskets of Mesut Mak and Adil Gur, members of the Turkish Communist Labour Party, who were killed on Saturday (October 10) during the peace rally by pro-Kurdish and leftist activists.
Thousands crowded around the mourners holding party flags and chanting anti-government slogans as the caskets were carried through the streets of the city.
Mourners, some chanting: “Thief, Murderer Erdogan”, walked past the local police station where security was beefed up and officers stood guard.
Levent Tuzel, a deputy from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), attended the funeral proceedings in Tunceli. Speaking to the large crowd gathered, Tuzel said supporters of the party were the targets of the bombings. He vowed to hold the government of President Tayyip Erdogan accountable for the tragedy.
Story from Reuters.
Bulent Aliriza on Turkey attack
Bulent Aliriza on Turkey attackCCTV spoke to Bulent Aliriza, director and senior associate of the Turkey Project at CSIS.
Victims and protesters place blame on government
Hundreds remained hospitalized as funerals were held for some of the 97 people killed in Saturday’s bombings.
What was supposed to be a peace rally has left the capital city in chaos. Both Turkey’s prime minister and angry protesters are beginning to lay blame.
CCTV America’s Michal Bardavid reports.