Dozens Of People Killed In Blast Near Turkish Military Buildings
An explosion near a group of military buildings in Turkey's capital has killed at least 28 people and wounded 61 others, according to Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş.
Reporting from Istanbul, NPR's Peter Kenyon says officials suspect it may have been a car bomb that detonated in Ankara. Here's more from Peter:
"The explosion hit near a military base in the capital, which also hosts residences for military officers. The blast occurred as a vehicle carrying military personnel was passing.
"Rescue crews and police raced to the scene, and television footage showed firefighters battling a blaze as ambulance crews tried to gather up the wounded.
"Turkey has seen several bombings in the past several months, the most recent targeting the heart of Istanbul's tourist area last month."
Sky News reports the explosion went off around 6:15 p.m. local time and appeared to be "aimed at the heart of the state." Sky correspondent Alex Rossi in Ankara points to the explosion's proximity to Turkey's parliament building as well as the military complex.
He adds that it's "very very concerning for the Turkish government that this happened really so close to sort of very important state institutions."
Peter says there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
"Kurdish rebels, the Islamic State group and a leftist extremist group have carried out attacks in the country recently," The Associated Press reports.
The wire service adds that the Turkish government "imposed a gag order which bans media organizations from broadcasting or printing graphic images of the dead or injured from the scene of the explosion."
The U.S. ambassador to Turkey, John Bass, tweeted condolences after the attack:
Amb. Bass: Deeply saddened, shocked by terror attack in Ankara. Our hearts and prayers go out to those affected.— U.S. Embassy Turkey #EvdeKal #StayHome (@USEmbassyTurkey) February 17, 2016
The British Ambassador to Turkey, Richard Moore, also extended his condolences via Twitter.
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+ UK stands shoulder to shoulder with Turkey at this difficult time. Utterly condemn terrorism.— Richard Moore (@ChiefMI6) February 17, 2016