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Car bomb rocks Ankara, condemned

A car bomb explosion near government buildings in Ankara killed at least 28 people and wounding 61 others on Wednesday, sparking condemnation from the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU). The Turkish government vowed not to yield to terrorism.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesperson Numan Kurtulmus on Wednesday confirmed that the explosion targeted military vehicles carrying armed forces personnel.

"We do not yet know the perpetrators of this attack ... This attack did not only target our military personnel in those shuttles ... (but) openly targeted out entire nation," Kurtulmus said, vowing to track down those behind the attack as soon as possible.

While calling on the international community to condemn the terror in the strongest terms, Kurtulmus also stressed that "plain condemnations" are now not enough for Turkey.

Turkish military said the attack struck military service buses transporting personnel which stopped at a traffic light at 18:31 local time (1631 GMT), setting at least four buses ablaze near such government buildings as Turkish General Staff headquarters and the parliament.

The Turkish General Staff admitted that there were military personnel among the casualties.

The bomb attack targeted shuttles for military personnel and it happened at a time when a high-level security meeting, hosted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was being held at the Presidential Palace, local NTV news broadcaster reported.

"Turkey has never given in to terror and will never do," Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told lawmakers in the parliament.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday condemned the deadly explosion, hoping the perpetrators of this terrorist attack will be swiftly brought to justice

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Ban also sent his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, saying the UN stands in solidarity with the Turkish people and the government at this tragic time.

Also on Wednesday, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said the EU extends condolences to the families of the victims.

The EU is with Turkey and its people in these difficult times and stand by all those who suffer from the consequences of such violence and of terrorism, she said in a statement.

No organization has so far claimed responsibility for the attack and the government has immediately assigned seven prosecutors to investigate the incident, said Kurtulmus.

Some analysts suspect that the outlawed Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) or the Islamic State (IS), which are listed as terrorist organizations in Turkey, are behind the attack.

The PKK has resumed violence against the Turkish government after their peace process collapsed last summer.

Turkish security forces have been fighting with the PKK in battlegrounds in the southeast since December.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 18Feb16]

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small logoThis document has been published on 18Feb16 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.