Kurds implicated in Ankara bomb attack

At least six people were killed and more than 80 injured when a bomb exploded close to the entrance of a shopping mall in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

The rush-hour attack, one of the worst in the city for a decade and blamed by security sources on Kurdish separatists, killed five Turks and a Pakistani national, according to officials.

The front of the five-storey Anafartalar shopping mall in the historic centre was badly damaged by the explosion. Unconfirmed reports last night suggested an explosive device was left at a bus stop close to the busy centre in the Ulus district.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although police were holding seven people in connection with the blast last night.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who visited the scene shortly after the bombing, said: "We have seen a vicious, ruthless terror attack at Ankara's busiest time. Is it a suicide bomber or a parcel bomb? Technical teams are working on this. We have always said terror can strike anyone, anywhere. Although we have taken every precaution, we have experienced this incident." Mayor Melih Gokcek said: "This is the most horrific scene I have ever seen. It gives me great grief."

Officials said four Turks and one Pakistani were killed instantly by the explosion, while another Turkish person died shortly after arriving at hospital.

Recep Akdag, the health minister, said more than 80 people were injured, although it was not stated how many were in a serious condition. Six other Pakistanis, visiting a defence industry fair organised by the Turkish armed forces, were also wounded. Witnesses described seeing mutilated bodies lying near the entrance of the mall.

"We were cleaning the windows when the pressure from the blast pushed us to the ground. Everything was covered in dust. I could only hear people screaming," said Murat Coskun, who owns a nearby mobile phone shop. Another witness, Mehmet Yilmaz, said he saw someone on fire and tried to put out the flames by covering him with rugs.

Analysts said the attack was almost certain to raise tensions ahead of a general election in July, a contest fraught with strain between Turkey's secularist elite, the ruling Islamist-rooted AK party and Kurdish factions who accuse the government of sidelining their candidates.

Police officers at the scene were reported to have said that plastic explosives, the type favoured by separatist Kurdish rebels, were used to make the bomb. A security source said the bombing bore the hallmarks of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is waging an armed struggle for Kurdish rights.

The PKK ended a unilateral ceasefire on 18 May and security experts had expected attacks to escalate as a result. The PKK has been fighting for an ethnic homeland since 1984, and Ankara blames it for more than 30,000 deaths. On 12 May a bomb in Izmir killed one person.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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

Recruitment Genius: Luxury Brand - Retail Sales Assistant - Part or Full Time

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Luxury Jeweller and Accessories - Retail Sale...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£13676.46 - £15864.28 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Re...

Recruitment Genius: Web Designer

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Designer is required to j...

Recruitment Genius: Motor Vehicle Technician

£22000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company is a well establish...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most