Suicide bomber dies in Ankara explosion

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A female suicide bomber blew up a café in the Turkish capital, Ankara, during the morning rush hour yesterday, killing herself and injuring another person. The woman accidentally set off the explosives that she was carrying for an attack.

A female suicide bomber blew up a café in the Turkish capital, Ankara, during the morning rush hour yesterday, killing herself and injuring another person. The woman accidentally set off the explosives that she was carrying for an attack.

Police said that the bomber was Sengul Akkurt, 26, who belonged to a radical left-wing group, the DHKP-C, which has carried out bomb attacks in the past.

They had no information on what her planned target might have been.

The woman arrived at the Crocodile Café, a student haunt on the main road in Ankara's bustling Kizilay district, at 9am, witnesses said. After a cup of coffee, she picked up her backpack and went to the toilet, where she apparently triggered the explosive device by accident.

The explosion shattered walls and windows in the café, which occupied three floors in a 10-storey building. Pieces of glass and metal shards were strewn over the sidewalk.

"I could see bits of flesh thrown all over the place," said Ali Vehbi, a student who arrived at the scene shortly after the blast, as he pointed to blood on a window of a building opposite the café.

Mustafa Gundogdu, a barber who works near the café, said: "I heard an explosion ... Smoke was coming out of the cafe. Then the windows came falling down."

Radical left-wing groups like the DHKP-C, Islamists and Kurdish rebels have all carried out suicide bombings in Turkey in the past. But high-profile attacks have largely petered out since the arrest of the Kurdish guerilla leader, Abdullah Ocalan, in 1999, and the subsequent ceasefire declared by his Kurdistan Workers party (PKK).

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