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
Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
O'Toole as Cornelius Gallus in ‘Katherine of Alexandria’
filmSadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Life and Style
fashion
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Junior DBA (SQL Server, T-SQL, SSIS, SSAS) London - Finance

£30000 - £33000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior DBA (SQ...

Business Anaylst

£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...

Senior Project Manager

£60000 - £90000 per annum + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Global leading Energy Tra...

Associate CXL Consultant

£40000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: CXL, Triple Po...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment