Deadly Bomb Attacks at Peace Rally in Turkey Instantly Kills 86

The Guardian – By Constanze Letsch, Nadia Khomami and agencies – Saturday 10 October 2015

Deadly attacks at peace rally in Turkey
Photo: People surround the area where bodies of victims are covered with flags and banners at the site of an explosion in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

At least 86 people have been killed and up to 150 wounded in the deadliest terror attack in Turkey’s history after two explosions targeted a peace rally in the centre of the capital. According to the pro-Kurdish HDP party, the death total stands at 97.

Twin explosions outside Ankara’s main train station on Saturday morning targeted hundreds of people who had gathered to protest against violence between authorities and the Kurdish militant group, the PKK.

Turkish government officials said the explosions were a terrorist attack carried out by suicide bombers but no group has yet claimed responsibility. Turkey’s prime minister, Ahmet Davuto?lu, was holding emergency meetings with government officials and security chiefs on Saturday afternoon.

People are seen at the blast scene afetr explosion during a peace march in Ankara
Photo: People are seen at the blast scene afetr explosion during a peace march in Ankara, Turkey, October 10, 2015. (REUTERS/Tumay Berkin)

Earlier on Saturday the health minister confirmed that 126 were wounded. The death toll is highly likely to rise.

Immediately after the attack at least 20 bodies could be seen covered by bloodstained flags on the road. Witnesses said the blasts were seconds apart shortly after 10am and were so powerful they rocked nearby high-rise buildings.

The Turkish president, Tayyip Erdo?an, condemned the double bombing, saying the attack targeted the country’s unity and peace. Erdo?an said: “I strongly condemn this heinous attack on our unity and our country’s peace.

“No matter what its origin, aim or name, we are against any form of terrorist act or terrorist organisation. We are obliged to be against it together.”

Demonstrators confront riot police following explosions during a peace march in Ankara
Photo: Demonstrators confront riot police following explosions during a peace march in Ankara, Turkey, October 10, 2015. (REUTERS/Stringer)

The president said there was no distinction between the terrorist attack in Ankara, which came just three weeks ahead of parliamentary elections, and the ones targeting Turkish soldiers and police.

“Like other acts of terror, the attack at the Ankara train station is taking aim at our unity, brotherhood and future,” he added. “The solidarity and determination we are going to display in the face of this attack will be the biggest and the most meaningful response to the terror.”

Erdo?an urged people to be “against, not on the side of terror” and said the perpetrators of Saturday’s attack would be found in the shortest time and delivered to justice.

Some witnesses said ambulances could not immediately reach the scene of the attack, and that police obstructed the quick evacuation of the wounded from the square. Turkish MP Sirri Süreyya Önder also claimed a suspicious vehicle and another suspicious package had been found and that bomb-disposal experts had been called to the scene.

In the aftermath of the attack those involved in the peace march tended to the wounded, as hundreds of stunned people wandered around the streets. Bodies lay in two circles around 20m apart where the explosions had taken place.

Read entire article here

Posted by Teri Perticone

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