Turkey Deputy PM: Ankara car bomb kills 28 and 61 in hospital

Islamic Extremism

Firefighters work at a scene of fire from an explosion in Ankara, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. A large explosion, believed to have been caused by a bomb, injured several people in the Turkish capital on Wednesday, according to media reports. (IHA via AP)

At least 28 people died and 61 others were wounded in a large explosion in the Turkish capital on Wednesday, believed to have been caused by a car bomb, apparently targeting vehicles that were carrying military personnel, Ankara’s governor said.

The explosion occurred during rush hour in an area close to where military headquarters and parliament are located. Governor Mehmet Kiliclar said the bomb appeared to have targeted a convoy of buses carrying military personnel.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said a Syrian national with links to Syrian Kurdish militia carried out the attack.

Davutoglu said that Turkey’s Kurdish rebels collaborated with the Syrian man to carry out the attack.

The leader of the main Syrian Kurdish group has denied that his group is behind the Turkey blast and warns Ankara against taking Syria ground action.

Salih Muslim told The Associated Press from his base in Europe that the Turkish accusations are “totally rejected.”

He also said that the blast in Ankara was similar to bombings carried out in the past by the Islamic State group.

Several dead following car bomb in Turkey

At least 28 people died and 61 others were wounded in a large explosion in the Turkish capital on Wednesday, believed to have been caused by a car bomb, apparently targeting vehicles that were carrying military personnel, Ankara’s governor said.

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“Today, we lost 28 of our citizens as of now, due to an attack that was carried out at approximately 18:31 (local time – 1631 GMT) by a vehicle carrying explosives, which detonated as a transporter carrying military personnel stopped at red lights on Inonu Boulevard. May God’s mercy be upon them (the victims). We think among those who lost their lives there were both civilians as well as military personnel. We will continue to enlighten the public as the identities (of those who died) come to light. 61 citizens were also wounded and they are currently being treated in various hospitals” said Numan Kurtulmus, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister.

In this view across the city of Ankara, Turkey, smoke billows from a fire following an explosion Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016, after assailants exploded a car bomb near vehicles carrying military personnel in the Turkish capital, killing several people and injuring scores of others, officials said. The explosion occurred during evening rush hour in the heart of city, in an area close to where military headquarters and parliament are located. (IHA via AP) TURKEY OUT

In this view across the city of Ankara, Turkey, smoke billows from a fire following an explosion Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016, after assailants exploded a car bomb near vehicles carrying military personnel in the Turkish capital, killing several people and injuring scores of others, officials said. The explosion occurred during evening rush hour in the heart of city, in an area close to where military headquarters and parliament are located. (IHA via AP) TURKEY OUT

It was not clear who was behind the bombing Wednesday. Kurdish rebels, the Islamic State group and a leftist extremist group have carried out attacks in the country recently.

Ankara Blast

In October, suicide bombings blamed on IS targeted a peace rally outside the main train station in Ankara, killing 102 people in Turkey’s deadliest attack in years.

Turkey’s prime minister has also canceled a planned visit to Brussels following the explosion in the Turkish capital. Ahmet Davutoglu had been scheduled to travel to Brussels later Wednesday. Instead, Davutoglu attended a security meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other officials.

The Anadolu Agency also said Wednesday that a gag order was put in place that bans media organizations from broadcasting or printing graphic images of the dead or injured from the scene of the explosion.

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CSIS Turkey Project Director Bulent Aliriza on Ankara explosion
For more on that deadly blast in Ankara, CCTV America’s Elaine Reyes spoke to Bulent Aliriza. He’s the Director and a Senior Associate of the Turkey Project at CSIS in Washington.

CSIS Turkey Project Director Bulent Aliriza on Ankara explosion

For more on that deadly blast in Ankara, CCTV America's Elaine Reyes spoke to Bulent Aliriza. He's the Director and a Senior Associate of the Turkey Project at CSIS in Washington.


Wednesday’s attack comes at a tense time when the Turkish government is facing an array of challenges. A fragile peace process with the Kurdish rebels collapsed in the summer. The Turkish security forces have been engaged in large-scale operations against Kurdish militants in the southeast since December, imposing controversial curfews in flashpoint areas, and the fighting has displaced tens of thousands of civilians.


Security and Policy Analyst Kamran Bokhari on Ankara explosion
CCTV America spoke to Kamran Bokhari out of Toronto. Bokhari is with the Security and Policy Institute at the University of Ottawa. He’s also a Fellow with George Washington University’s Program on Extremism.

Security and Policy Analyst Kamran Bokhari on Ankara explosion

CCTV America spoke to Kamran Bokhari out of Toronto. Bokhari is with the Security and Policy Institute at the University of Ottawa. He's also a Fellow with George Washington University's Program on Extremism.

Turkey has also been helping efforts led by the United States to combat the Islamic State group in neighboring Syria, and has faced several deadly bombings in the last year that were blamed on ISIL.

The Syrian war, meanwhile, is raging along Turkey’s southern border. Recent airstrikes by Russian and Syrian forces have prompted tens of thousands of Syrian refugees to flee to Turkey’s border. Turkey so far has refused to let them in, despite being urged to do so by the United Nations and European nations, but is sending aid to Syrian refugee camps right across the border.

Dozens dead following car bomb in Turkey

At least 28 people died and 61 others were wounded in a large explosion in the Turkish capital on Wednesday, believed to have been caused by a car bomb, apparently targeting vehicles that were carrying military personnel, Ankara’s governor said.

Turkey, which is already home to 2.5 million Syrian refugees, has also been a key focus of European Union efforts to halt the biggest flow of refugees to the continent since World War II. Hundreds, sometimes thousands, of refugees leave every night from Turkey to cross the sea to Greece in smugglers’ boats.

Chinese Embassy in Turkey said there were no Chinese casualties reported as of 5 pm E.T. Wednesday.

Story by the Associated Press