At least two killed in suicide bomb attack on US embassy in Turkey

 

Istanbul

A suspected suicide bomber killed a security guard at the US embassy in the Turkish capital of Ankara today, in an attack the White House branded “an act of terror”.

The attacker detonated explosives next to the X-ray machine at the entrance of the visa section in the compound at about 11.15am GMT.

The blast destroyed the entrance and sent debris and shattered glass flying into the street of the upmarket residential area. A dense black column of smoke rose from the building. One person was injured and hospitalised.

The US Ambassador in Turkey, Francis Ricciardone, addressed  reporters from the main entrance to the embassy shortly after the attack. “We are very sad of course that we lost one of our Turkish guards at the gate”, he said.

Turkey and the US immediately condemned the attack. American officials urged US citizens to stay away from all US diplomatic offices across Turkey.

According to Interior Minister Muammer Güler, the bomber, who died in the explosion, was a member of an outlawed leftist group. He did not give more details.

However, White House press secretary Jay Carney later said it was not yet known who was responsible for the attack. He said a suicide bombing on the perimeter of an embassy was, by definition, a terrorist act.

Turkish state television described the bomber as a 30-year-old male who was a member of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C).

The DHKP/C is an outlawed organisation based on a Marxist-Leninist ideology. Originally created in 1978, it got its current name in 1994 after internal infighting caused another faction of the group to split from it. The DHKP/C is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the European Union and the US. It is opposed to American interests and Nato, and fights against the Turkish state, which it sees as under control of Western imperialism.

Turkey is a key US ally in the region and a Nato member. Ankara has also been among the fiercest critics of Syria’s president Bashar al Assad since the beginning of the country’s uprising in March 2011. Turkey has supported the rebels fighting against Assad’s regime forces in what has become a civil war which has claimed over 60,000 lives, according to the UN.

Nato is deploying six batteries of Patriot missiles along Turkey’s border with Syria after Syrian artillery shells began straying into Turkey late last year. Amid widespread anti-American sentiment, the deployment has sparked protests in Turkey during recent weeks by leftist groups but also by Islamists and nationalists. German soldiers working on two of the batteries were attacked by demonstrators in the city of Iskenderun.

In the last two weeks, Turkish police have detained around 100 people accused of being members of the DHKP/C. Among those detained were students, journalists, activists and human rights lawyers. Organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch criticised the arrests and accused Turkish authorities of abusing vaguely defined anti-terror laws against opposition voices.

 

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
Arts and Entertainment
One of the installations in the Reiner Ruthenbeck exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery
artCritics defend Reiner Ruthenbeck's 'Overturned Furniture'
News
A-list actresses such as Deepika Padukone get paid a tenth of what their male counterparts make per film
news
News
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
News
The Black Friday Vines that will destroy your faith in humanity
i100

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Opilio Recruitment: QA Automation Engineer

£30k - 38k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: An award-winning consume...

Opilio Recruitment: UX & Design Specialist

£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Opilio Recruitment: Publishing Application Support Analyst

£30k - 35k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We’re currently re...

Opilio Recruitment: Digital Marketing Manager

£35k - 45k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game