Kurds implicated in Ankara bomb attack
Wednesday 23 May 2007
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.
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 2 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Louis van Gaal gets tough with Manchester United players, with Darren Fletcher and Luke Shaw berated in public and Phil Jones left looking bemused
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she "lied" to husband about failed drugs tests
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Blogger captures footage ‘showing BUK missile launcher that shot down jet’ now back in Russia
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she "lied" to husband about failed drugs tests
Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£30000 - £40000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor - We are makin...
£50000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A unique and rare opport...