‘Truck bomb’ slaughter…at least 28 dead in Turkish capital explosion, BBC reports

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A large explosion in the Turkish capital, Ankara, has left at least 28 people dead and 61 injured, Turkish officials have said.

Explosion rocks Turkey capital (CNN photo)
Explosion rocks Turkey’s capital (CNN photo)

According to a BBC report, a vehicle full of explosives was detonated as military buses were passing by.

The blast happened in an area close to parliament and Turkey’s military headquarters.

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag called it an “act of terrorism”.

Large plumes of smoke were seen rising from the area and witnesses said the blast was heard all over the city. Some of the victims were civilians.

Ambulances and fire engines were sent to the scene.

Security forces carried out a controlled explosion on a suspect package after the blast.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey was more determined than ever to use “its right to self-defence”.

In a statement released several hours after the attack, he said: “Our determination to respond in kind to attacks taking place inside and outside our borders is getting stronger with such acts.”

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has cancelled a visit to Brussels on Thursday where he was due to attend meetings about the refugee crisis in Europe.

The US condemned the attack. Mark Toner from the State Department offered condolences to the families of the victims, adding: “We reaffirm our strong partnership with our Nato ally Turkey in combating the shared threat of terrorism attacks.”

Turkey has been hit by a series of attacks recently, and there have been increasing concerns that the country could be targeted by another big attack.

Hundreds of people have been offering their condolences to the relatives of the dead, condemning the attack, posting pictures and videos of the aftermath of the scene on social media.

The attack targeted a shuttle bus carrying military personnel, and there were several other military vehicles nearby – all of which were waiting at the traffic lights. Most of the casualties are believed to be soldiers.

A government spokesman said the attack had been well planned.

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