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Turkish Capital Bombed By Kurdish Militants

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On Sunday, two attackers detonated a bomb in front of Turkish government buildings in Ankara, killing both of them and injuring two police officers, and a Kurdish militant group claimed responsibility.

Authorities called it the capital’s first terrorist attack in years.

CCTV footage obtained by Reuters showed a vehicle pulling up to the main gate of the Interior Ministry, with one of its occupants quickly walking towards the building before being engulfed in an explosion, while the other remained on the street.

The blast killed one of the attackers, and authorities “neutralised,” or killed, the other, according to the interior minister, of the incident, which shook a central district home to ministerial buildings and the nearby parliament.

President Tayyip Erdogan called the morning attack “the latest attempt” to terrorise Turks in a speech hours later at the start of a new parliamentary session.

“Those who threaten the peace and security of citizens have not achieved their goals and never will,” he stated.

According to the ANF News website, which is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the attack was carried out by the ‘Immortals Battalion,’ citing a PKK statement.

The bombing was described as a “suicide attack” planned to coincide with parliament’s opening and carried out by “a team of ours linked to our Immortals Battalion.”

Turkey, the United States, and the European Union have all designated the PKK as a terrorist organisation. It began an insurgency in southeast Turkey in 1984, and over 40,000 people have died as a result of the conflict.

The bombing on Ataturk Boulevard was the first in Ankara since 2016, when the country was hit by a wave of deadly attacks. Following video showed a Renault cargo vehicle parked there with windows shattered and doors open, surrounded by soldiers, ambulances, fire trucks, and armoured vehicles.

According to a senior Turkish official, the attackers hijacked the vehicle and killed its driver in Kayseri, 260 kilometres (161 miles) southeast of Ankara, before carrying out the attack. He added that one of the injured officers had shrapnel injuries.

“Two terrorists arrived in a light commercial vehicle in front of the entrance gate of our Ministry of Internal Affairs’ General Directorate of Security and carried out a bomb attack,” Ali Yerlikaya, the interior minister, said on social media platform X.

He added that the two officers were slightly injured in the 9:30 a.m. (0630 GMT) incident.

“Our struggle will continue until the last terrorist is neutralised,” he said, echoing other Turkish officials’ condemnation.

Pass Attack

Police said they used controlled explosions to investigate “suspicious package incidents” in other parts of Ankara.

Authorities did not name any particular militant group.

Almost a year ago, an explosion in a busy pedestrian street in central Istanbul killed six people and injured 81. Turkey blamed it on Kurdish militants.

Several attacks in major Turkish cities were claimed or blamed on Kurdish militants, the Islamic State, and other groups during a series of bloody incidents in 2015 and 2016. In March 2016, a bomb-laden car exploded at a crowded central transport hub in Ankara, killing 37 people.

On Sunday, Ankara’s chief prosecutor launched an investigation into what was also described as a terrorist attack.

After raising initial objections and delaying NATO enlargement, Turkey’s parliament is expected to consider ratifying Sweden’s bid to join the alliance in the coming weeks.

Erdogan did not mention Sweden or NATO, but he did tell lawmakers that agreeing on a new constitution was a top priority for the upcoming session. The parliament’s speaker stated that it would not give in to terror.

European Council President Charles Michel strongly condemned the “terrorist attack,” while EU Commissioner for Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi stated that the EU supports Turkey “in its fight against terrorism.”


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