Ankara, Turkey – One day after 37 people were killed as a result of a car bomb that exploded in Ankara, Turkish warplanes struck Kurdish militant camps in northern Iraq. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said there were “strong indications” that the attack was carried out by the rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.
The Turkish military said 11 warplanes carried out air strikes on 18 targets in northern Iraq early on Monday, including ammunition depots and shelters. The PKK has its bases in the mountains of northern Iraq, controlling operations across the frontier in Turkey. The strikes were launched after the culprits of the attack were allegedly identified.
The DNA of two suspects under investigation
The explosion happened at about 18:40 in Guven Park in the Kizilay district, a commercial area in the heart of the capital killing 37 people and wounding more than 100. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but Davutoglu said that authorities had detained 11 people directly connected.
Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said two of the dead are believed to be the attackers. DNA tests were underway to identify the bomber and another body believed to be that of a person who assisted.
One of the suspects is a female member of the outlawed PKK. Evidence had been obtained that suggested she was born in 1992, was from the eastern city of Kars near the Armenian border, and had joined the militant group in 2013. A police source said her severed hand had been found 300 meters from the blast site. The second suspect was a male Turkish citizen also with PKK links but his identity has not yet been confirmed.
Bomb attacks in Turkey since July
Five different suicide bombings have occurred in Turkey since July, killing more than 200 people. Almost every attack has been blamed on the Kurdish rebels or IS. On February 17, there was a suicide bombing that killed 29 people in the capital. APKK offshoot claimed responsibility for that attack.
Last October, more than 100 people were killed in a double-suicide bombing at a Kurdish peace rally in Ankara.
Social media banned
According to the Hurriyet newspaper, a court in Ankara had ordered a ban on access to social media, including Facebook and Twitter, saying it was to stop people sharing images of the attack.
Source: Washington Post