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28 killed in car bomb blast in Turkey's capital
At least 28 people were killed and 61 others wounded in a car bomb attack targeting the Turkish military in the capital Ankara on Wednesday, Turkey's deputy prime minister and government spokesman said.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus, the government has so far no information on who carried out the attack.
Kurtulmus confirmed that the explosion was caused by a car bomb that 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 ... (it) openly targets out entire nation," the deputy prime minister said, vowing to pinpoint those behind the attack as soon as possible.
The deputy prime minister called on the international community to stand by Turkey, saying that "plain condemnations" are now not enough for Turkey.
The bomb targeted the housings in Ankara where shuttles for military personnel were awaiting, according to the Turkish military, triggering two explosions near a military compound of the headquarters of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces, local NTV news broadcaster reported.
News footages showed a large plume of smoke rising into the sky from a large fire at the explosion site. The area is also near the Turkish parliament in central Ankara.
The government has banned on domestic reporting of the incident.
The attack happened at a time when a high-level security meeting, hosted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was being held at the Presidential Palace.
Erdogan has canceled his meeting to a Azerbaijan delegation on Thursday, while Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also canceled his visit to Brussels later on Wednesday evening.
The Turkish General Staff said there were military personnel among the casualties, as the explosion was caught on surveillance cameras near the scene.
Turkey has suffered from a series of deadly attacks. In July 2015, a bomb attack in the border town of Suruc in southeastern Turkey left 34 pro-Kurdish and left-wing activists killed. In October, twin suicide bombings in Ankara claimed a total of 103 lives. Both were blamed on the Islamic State (IS) militant group.
On Jan. 16, 11 people, all German tourists, were killed when a suicide bomber affiliated with the IS attacked the tourist heart of Istanbul.
[Source: Xinhua, Ankara, 17Feb16]
Islamic paramilitary organizations
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