In the worst terror attack in Turkey’s history, two bombings left at least 86 dead and at least 186 injured on Saturday morning in the nation’s capital, Ankara. The bombings targeted a peace rally by the People’s Democratic Party which brought together 14,000 people in support of the Kurds, and calling for an end of violence between Turkish security forces and Kurdish rebels.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a televised address that it was believed to have been perpetrated by two suicide bombers. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Suspicion is aimed at the Islamic State (ISIS) or Kurdish separatists in Turkey. Separatists have carried out suicide bombings in the past in Turkey.
After a period of remaining neutral, Turkey has recently taken a more aggressive stance against ISIS, allowing the US led coalition to launch airstrikes from Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey. In July, a suicide bombing blamed on the ISIS killed 33 people in a town near Turkey’s border with Syria. Ankarra is in the center of the country and ISIS attacks against Turkish targets have usually been near the Syrian border.
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The prime minister also called for three days of national mourning and urged the country to fight terrorism.
“This is an attack that does not target a specific group; it is an attack on the entire nation and (an) attack on our unity. Turkey is a country that has managed to maintain peace in the region,” he said.