Wednesday, February 17, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: At least 18 people dead and 45 injured after car bomb explodes outside military barracks in Turkish capital

Horror: At least 18 people are dead and 45 others injured in an explosion believed to have been caused by a car bomb in the Turkish capital of Ankara
At least 18 people are dead and 45 others injured after a vehicle laden with explosives detonated in the centre of the Turkish capital of Ankara. 
The target of the blast was a convoy of military service vehicles which were waiting at traffic lights when the nearby car exploded, according to Ankara governor Mehmet Kiliclar. 
The car bomb exploded in the administrative heart of the capital, near the armed forces' headquarters, parliament and government buildings. 
Plumes of smoke were seen rising over the city and the powerful blast was heard across several neighbourhoods, sending residents rushing to their balconies in a panic. 

Blast: Flames and giant plumes of black smoke rise from the site of the explosion, which is believed to have targeted a convoy of military vehicles
Blast: Flames and giant plumes of black smoke rise from the site of the explosion, which is believed to have targeted a convoy of military vehicles

Emergency services at the scene following a car bomb detonation close to military buildings in Ankara, capital of Turkey

Panic: Emergency services at the scene following a car bomb detonation close to military buildings in Ankara, capital of Turkey
Battle: Firefighters try to extinguish flames following an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara
Battle: Firefighters try to extinguish flames following an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara
Ambulances and fire engines were sent to the scene, which is near the Turkish military headquarters and the parliament.  
A health ministry official said the authorities were still trying to determine the number of dead and wounded, who had been taken to several hospitals in the area.
Initial reports claimed just the blast killed five people and injured 10 others, but that number was raised substantially by the city's governor Mehmet Kiliclar.
Turkish broadcaster NTV said the explosion happened near a residential block for top-level military staff.

'I heard a huge explosion. There was smoke and a really strong smell even though we were blocks away,' said a witness. 
'We could immediately hear ambulance and police car sirens rushing to the scene.' 
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has cancelled his planned trip to Brussels following the explosion, according to an official in the prime minister's office. 
Mr Davutoglu was due to leave later Wednesday for Brussels to meet a number of EU leaders on Thursday for discussions on the migrant crisis ahead of a full summit of the 28-member bloc. 
The spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Omer Celik, said he strongly condemned the attack, Turkish media reported. 
Turkish police have cordoned off the area.

Targeted: A map of the blast site shows its proximity to Turkey's Air Force HQ (Hava Kuvvetleri Komutanligi) and to the country's parliament buildings (TBMM)
Targeted: A map of the blast site shows its proximity to Turkey's Air Force HQ (Hava Kuvvetleri Komutanligi) and to the country's parliament buildings (TBMM)
Blaze: Firefighters try to extinguish flames following an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara
Blaze: Firefighters try to extinguish flames following an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara
Concern: People react near the site of an explosion after a car bomb targeted Turkish military in Ankara, killing at least 18 people and injuring at least 45 others
Concern: People react near the site of an explosion after a car bomb targeted Turkish military in Ankara, killing at least 18 people and injuring at least 45 others
Fear: Flames can be seen emerging from behind a bus at the site of the bombing. A fire engine stands at the site of an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara
Fear: Flames can be seen emerging from behind a bus at the site of the bombing. A fire engine stands at the site of an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara
Security: An ambulance arrives after an explosion in Ankara. Ambulances and fire engines were sent to the scene, which is near the Turkish military headquarters and the parliament
Security: An ambulance arrives after an explosion in Ankara. Ambulances and fire engines were sent to the scene, which is near the Turkish military headquarters and the parliament
Control: Turkish police officers block a street after an explosion in Ankara, Turkey. The city was already on edge after a series of attacks since the middle of last year
Control: Turkish police officers block a street after an explosion in Ankara, Turkey. The city was already on edge after a series of attacks since the middle of last year
Chaos: A man reacts next to policemen near the site of an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara
Chaos: A man reacts next to policemen near the site of an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara
Injury: An injured person is loaded into an ambulance car following an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara. Concerned relatives and members of the public have begun arriving at the site of the blast
Injury: An injured person is loaded into an ambulance car following an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara. Concerned relatives and members of the public have begun arriving at the site of the blast
Fight: Firefighters battle to douse flames of the raging inferno, after a car bomb targeted a convoy of military vehicles in Ankara's administrative heart, near to military headquarters, parliament and government buildings
Fight: Firefighters battle to douse flames of the raging inferno, after a car bomb targeted a convoy of military vehicles in Ankara's administrative heart, near to military headquarters, parliament and government buildings
Reaction: Emergency services and members of the public rushed to the site of the explosion, which left plumes of black smoke floating over the Turkish capital
Reaction: Emergency services and members of the public rushed to the site of the explosion, which left plumes of black smoke floating over the Turkish capital
Although reports are unconfirmed, Turkish security officials have said that initial signs indicate the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) insurgents were behind the attack.
However, separate security sources in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast gave a different account, saying they believed ISIS militants were behind the bombing.
ISIS has been blamed for a string of bombings in the country since the middle of last year.
A blast in Ankara on October 10 last year killed 103 people. Two suicide bombers in the October attack blew themselves up in a crowd of peace activists in Ankara, the bloodiest attack in the country's modern history. 
An attack on January 16 also killed 11 people, all German tourists, when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the tourist heart of Istanbul.
Those attacks were blamed on ISIS jihadists, as were two other deadly bombings in the country's Kurdish-dominated southeast earlier in the year. 
Turkish authorities have in recent weeks detained several suspected ISIS members, with officials saying they were planning attacks in Istanbul and Ankara.
But Turkey, a NATO member, faces multiple security threats. 
Flames: A fire engine is seen near the site of the bombing, as the death toll rises from five people to at least 18
Flames: A fire engine is seen near the site of the bombing, as the death toll rises from five people to at least 18
Response: Emergency workers help an injured person on the ground near the explosion site in Ankara
Response: Emergency workers help an injured person on the ground near the explosion site in Ankara
Rescue: An ambulance arrives, with the fire seen in background, close to the site of an explosion in Ankara
Rescue: An ambulance arrives, with the fire seen in background, close to the site of an explosion in Ankara
On edge: Emergency services at the scene following a car bomb detonation close to military buildings in Ankara, capital of Turkey
On edge: Emergency services at the scene following a car bomb detonation close to military buildings in Ankara, capital of Turkey
Emergency: Smoke rises over buildings following an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara on February 17, 2016
Emergency: Smoke rises over buildings following an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara on February 17, 2016
Target: Cars of emergency services arrive after an explosion in Ankara, which is believed to have killed at least 18 people and injured at least 45 more
Target: Cars of emergency services arrive after an explosion in Ankara, which is believed to have killed at least 18 people and injured at least 45 more
Attack: A Turkish police officer closes a street after an explosion in Ankara. Although reports are unconfirmed, Turkish security officials have said that initial signs indicate the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) insurgents were behind the attack.
Attack: A Turkish police officer closes a street after an explosion in Ankara. Although reports are unconfirmed, Turkish security officials have said that initial signs indicate the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) insurgents were behind the attack.
Force: Police officers clutching riot shields arrive at the site of a bombing in Ankara. Although reports are unconfirmed, Turkish security officials have said that initial signs indicate the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) insurgents were behind the attack.
Force: Police officers clutching riot shields arrive at the site of a bombing in Ankara. Although reports are unconfirmed, Turkish security officials have said that initial signs indicate the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) insurgents were behind the attack.

THE BLOODIEST BOMB ATTACKS IN TURKEY SINCE 1982

February 17, 2016: At least 18 people are killed and 45 wounded in a car bombing targeting the Turkish military in the capital Ankara.
January 12, 2016: 11 German tourists are killed and another 16 people wounded in a suicide attack by a Syrian bomber in Istanbul's Sultanahmet district, the ancient tourist heart of the city.
October 10, 2015: 103 people are killed and more than 500 wounded in twin suicide bombings targeting a pro-Kurdish peace rally in Ankara, the deadliest on Turkish soil. The government blames ISIS jihadists.
July 20, 2015: 34 people are killed and about 100 injured in a suicide bombing in the predominantly-Kurdish town of Suruc near the border with Syria. Turkish officials blame ISIS.
May 11, 2013: A twin car bomb attack kills 52 people in Reyhanli near the Syrian border. Ankara blames pro-Damascus groups.
February 11, 2013: 17 people are killed when a Syrian minibus explodes in Reyhanli.
July 27, 2008: Two bombings in Istanbul leave 17 dead and 115 wounded. The authorities blame the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
September 12, 2006: 10 people, including children, are killed in a powerful bomb blast in Diyarbakir, the largest city in the mainly Kurdish southeast. The PKK denies involvement.
November 15 and 20, 2003: Four suicide car bomb attacks in Istanbul hit two synagogues, the British consulate and a branch of the British multinational bank HSBC, leaving 63 dead including Britain's consul general, and hundreds wounded. The attacks are claimed by Al-Qaeda and a Turkish extremist group named the Islamic Front of Raiders of the Great Orient.
March 13, 1999: 12 are killed in a firebombing on an Istanbul shopping mall. The attack is claimed by the PKK, which later retracts its statement.
December 25, 1991: Explosives and firebombs are hurled at an Istanbul department store, killing 17 people and injuring 23. The attack is blamed on the PKK.
September 6, 1986: A twin suicide bombing claimed by Islamic Jihad kills 22 people at a synagogue in Istanbul.
August 7, 1982: A bomb at Ankara airport followed by a gun battle leaves 11 dead and 63 injured. The attack is claimed by the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA).
Source: AFP 
The country is also waging an all-out assault on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which has staged dozens of deadly attacks against members of the security forces in the southeast.
The PKK launched an insurgency against the Turkish state in 1984, initially fighting for Kurdish independence although now more for greater autonomy and rights for the country's largest ethnic minority.
The conflict, which has left tens of thousands of people dead, looked like it could be nearing a resolution until an uneasy truce was shattered in July.
Terrifying: Peaceful demonstrators at a pro-Kurdish rally on October 10, 2015 react as a powerful blast goes off behind them. An explosion in Ankara today has killed at least 18 people and left 45 others injured
Terrifying: Peaceful demonstrators at a pro-Kurdish rally on October 10, 2015 react as a powerful blast goes off behind them. An explosion in Ankara today has killed at least 18 people and left 45 others injured
Uprising: Demonstrators hold placards which reads 'We know the murderer!' during a protest against a bombing in Ankara on October 13, 2015. A blast today is believed to have been targeted at a military convoy
Uprising: Demonstrators hold placards which reads 'We know the murderer!' during a protest against a bombing in Ankara on October 13, 2015. A blast today is believed to have been targeted at a military convoy
Ankara has also been carrying out air strikes against Syrian Kurdish fighters across the border wartorn Syria since the weekend.
A Kurdish splinter group, the Freedom Falcons of Kurdistan (TAK), claimed a mortar attack on Istanbul's second international airport on December 23 which killed a female cleaner and damaged several planes.
Meanwhile the banned ultra-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) has also staged a string of usually small-scale attacks in Istanbul over the last few months. 


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