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
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
British musician Mark Ronson arrives for the UK premiere of the film 'Mortdecai'
music
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
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

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us