Car bomb kills 34 in Turkish capital Ankara
(MENAFN- The Peninsula) A police officer looks on as a body bag is carried at the scene of a blast in Ankara on March 13 2016. Several people were killed and many more wounded in a blast in the heart of the Turkish capital Ankara local media reported speaking of an attack. Ambulances rushed to the scene of the explosion on Kizilay square a key hub in the city and television pictures showed burnt-out vehicles including a bus. AFP ADEM ALTAN
ANKARA: A car bomb killed 34 people in the heart of the Turkish capital Ankara on Sunday and wounded 75 more the governor’s office said less than a month after a similar attack killed 29 people just blocks away.
Video footage showed burning debris showering down on what appeared to be the entrance to an underpass. The blast could be heard 2.5 km (1.5 miles) away and a large cloud of smoke could be seen rising over the city centre a Reuters witness said.
A senior security official told Reuters that the blast appeared to have been caused by a suicide car bomb. A second security official said gunfire was heard after the blast. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
The area close to a courthouse and the Justice and Interior Ministries was crowded when the explosion happened at 6:43 p.m. (1643 GMT) state broadcaster TRT said.
TRT said a vehicle had exploded at a major transport hub hitting a bus carrying some 20 people near the central Guven Park and Kizilay Square.
The government has said the previous car bombing in Ankara on Feb. 17 was carried out by Kurdish militants. That attack struck near Turkey’s military headquarters parliament and other key government institutions.
Islamic State militants have meanwhile carried out at least four bomb attacks on Turkey since June 2015. Local jihadist groups and leftist radicals have also staged attacks in the NATO member country in the past.
(Reporting by Ece Toksabay and Orhan Coskun; Writing by Ayla Jean Yackley; Editing by David Dolan and Nick Tattersall)