BELGRADE – A blast caused by a suicide car bombing hit the center of Ankara on Sunday evening. The explosion resulted in over a hundred casualties.
At least 34 people were killed and 125 injured in the explosion, according to the Turkish health ministry, as cited by Sputnik news agency. The blast occurred near Guven Park in the city center.
“It’s a car bomb, [it happened] in the heart of Ankara… and today is Sunday, many people may be outside,” Turkish journalist Onur Burcak Belli told RT by phone, adding that the scene of the blast is “very close to a shopping mall” and that “many cars are on fire and apparently a public bus is also on fire.”
What appears to be CCTV cam footage was posted on YouTube that allegedly shows the moment of the explosion. A couple of buses can be seen in the video, before a passing by car slows down near them and a huge blast is seen.
Thirty-four people were killed in a blast in the center of Ankara on Sunday, said Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu.
“Thirty people perished at the scene, while four died in hospitals. We suspect there could have been one or two suicide bombers among the casualties,” Muezzinoglu told journalists at a press briefing in Ankara.
He added that an additional 125 people were wounded, of whom 19 were in serious condition. The injured were treated at 14 hospitals in Ankara. Nine of them had been or were being operated on as of when the minister addressed the media, Muezzinoglu added.
An explosion that hit the center of Ankara was a terrorist attack, which has been caused by a car bomb, the NTV broadcast reported Sunday, citing a police source. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.
A security official said that initial findings suggest the attack was carried out by Kurdish PKK fighters or a group affiliated with them, Reuters reported.
The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has issued a statement condemning the attack, saying it shares “the huge pain felt along with our citizens,” AP reported. The party has been previously accused of not speaking out against PKK violence.