Car Bomb Explosion Kills Dozens in Turkish Capital of Ankara

Car Bomb Explosion Kills Dozens in Turkish Capital of Ankara

A large car bomb explosion killed at least 27 people and wounded scores more in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Sunday, the governor’s office said.

The bomb exploded close to bus stops near a park at Ankara’s main square, Kizilay, NTV television reported. The news channel said the explosion occurred as a car slammed into a bus.

The BBC reported that 75 people were wounded and that several vehicles at the scene were reduced to burnt out wrecks, including at least one bus.

No group immediately claimed credit for the attack, the BBC reported.

Dogan Asik, 28, said he was on a bus when the explosion occurred.

“We were thrown further back into the bus from the force of the explosion,” said Asik, who sustained injuries to his face and arm.

Police sealed off the area and pushed onlookers back, The Associated Press reported, warning there could be a second bomb. Forensic teams were examining the scene.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was convening an emergency security meeting and President Recep Erdogan, who has been in Istanbul, was briefed on the attack by the interior minister, the newspaper Hurriyet reported. Erdogan was expected to return to Ankara.

The governor’s office said 23 people died at the scene and four more died en route to the hospital.

The explosion came just three weeks after a suicide car bombing in the capital targeted buses carrying military personnel, killing 29 people. A Kurdish militant offshoot of the outlawed Kurdish rebel group the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, claimed responsibility for that attack.

Sunday’s attack also came two days after the U.S. Embassy issued a security warning about a potential plot to attack Turkish government buildings and housing in one Ankara neighborhood and asked citizens to avoid those areas.

Hundreds of people have been killed in Turkey in renewed fighting following the collapse of the peace process between the government and the PKK in July. Authorities on Sunday had declared curfews in two towns in the mainly Kurdish southeast region in anticipation of large-scale military operations against PKK-linked militants.

Turkey also has been struck by several bombings in the last year that were blamed on the Islamic State as the government joined efforts led by the U.S. to fight the extremist group in Syria. The deadliest came in October when a peace rally outside Ankara’s main train station killed 102 people.

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