Ankara explosions: Mourners chant 'murderer Erdogan' as death toll rises to 128

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack

Samuel Osborne
Sunday 11 October 2015 09:53
People raise their fists as a salute for victims during a demonstration on the day after a twin blast in Ankara that killed at least 128 people, in Ankara, Turkey, 11 October 2015.
People raise their fists as a salute for victims during a demonstration on the day after a twin blast in Ankara that killed at least 128 people, in Ankara, Turkey, 11 October 2015.

Protestors chanting "murderer Erdogan" and other anti-government slogans gathered near the scene of the deadliest terror attack in Turkey's history, which has claimed 128 lives and left hundreds wounded.

Thousands of people gathered on Sunday to mourn for the victims, with many chanting anti-government slogans, The Guardian reports.

30 dead in Turkey blasts

Fights broke out as police reportedly used tear gas to prevent pro-Kurdish politians and other mourners from laying carnations at the site of the bombings.

Police held back the mourners, insisting that investigators were still working at the site.

A group of 70 mourners were eventually allowed to enter the cordoned off area.

Placards reading "Killer state" are seen as thousands of protesters take part in a march against the deadly attack earlier in Ankara on October 10, 2015 at the Istiklal avenue in Istanbul.

The group of mourners then marched towards the central square in Ankara, chanting "murderer Erdogan" and "murderer police". Many hold Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan responsible for the escalating violence.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Isis, Kurdish or far-left groups are all suspects in the attack on pro-Kurdish activists and left-wing marchers in Ankara.

However, experts have said it is unlikely that left-wing groups are behind the attack.

A demonstrator holds flowers before a police barricade during a commemoration for the victims of Saturday's bomb blasts in the Turkish capital, in Ankara, Turkey, October 11, 2015.

A Turkish news agency reports that police have detained 14 suspected members of Isis in the Turkish city of Konya. It is unclear if the detentions were related to the attack in Ankara.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

A pro-Kurdish Turkish political party whose members were among those killed has raised the death toll to 128.

Overnight, the prime minister's office named 52 of the victims and said autopsies were continuing.

It said 246 wounded people were still being treated, 48 of them in intensive care.

The two suspected suicide bombings, which came seconds apart, happened as crowds gathered for the march protesting against escalating violence between Turkish forces and Kurdish militia in the country's south-east.

More than 60 people were killed at the scene, the police said, and more later died at hospital.

In a statement, the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) said it believed its supporters were the "main target of the attacks".

In response to the attacks the government censored news coverage, banning all photographs and any associated images "that create fear and panic". Any Turkish media organisations violating the ban would face "permanent blackout", officials warned.

Many people also reported being unable to access Twitter on some of the countries most popular networks.

Some also said they were unable to access Facebook in the aftermath of the attacks.

Social media blackouts have been imposed with increasing frequency in Turkey in recent years, sparking protests and international criticism.

Index on Censorship classes Turkey as only "partly free", and the British Government has been among those raising concerns about blocks on social media and the treatment of journalists.

An award-winning Turkish journalist is being prosecuted for insulting the President, and two Britons were among three Vice News journalists charged with "aiding a terrorist organisation" in August, prompting an intervention by the Foreign Secretary.

The attacks come three weeks ahead of an election, further fueling unease in a country beset by conflict against Isis and Kurdish militia.

Hours after the bombing, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) ordered its fighters to halt operations in Turkey unless they faced attack.

It said it would avoid acts that could hinder a "fair and just election".

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly condemned the "heinous attack" and said Turkey would not give in to efforts to cause division in society.

"No matter what its origin, aim or name, we are against any form of terrorist act or terrorist organisation.

"Like other acts of terror, the attack at Ankara Central Station is taking aim at our unity, brotherhood and future."

Additional reporting by agencies.

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