Turkey’s Interior Ministry building was targeted by a suicide bomb attack on Sunday, the day the nation’s parliament was scheduled to begin its new legislative year.
(Bloomberg) — Turkey’s Interior Ministry building was targeted by a suicide bomb attack on Sunday, the day the nation’s parliament was scheduled to begin its new legislative year.
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terror group by Turkey, has claimed responsibility, according to ANF, a pro-Kurdish news agency based in the Netherlands.
Two individuals in a light commercial vehicle approached the building entrance in Ankara’s Kizilay district at about 9:30 a.m. local time, and one carried out the attack, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said.
“One of the terrorists detonated himself, while the other was neutralized by security forces,” the minister said in post on X, formerly Twitter. An exchange of gunfire resulted in injuries to two security force members.
The attack was also heard in the Parliament building, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was preparing to speak at the opening ceremony of the new legislative year. Parliament was locked down as a precaution and a search was conducted for bombs.
Ataturk Boulevard in the capital was temporarily closed to traffic near the Cankaya gate of Parliament, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
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“The action this morning, in which two attackers were neutralized as a result of the timely intervention of our security units, is the last efforts of terrorism,” Erdogan told parliament. “The scoundrels who aim at the peace and security of citizens have not achieved their ambitions and never will.”
Turkey has been fighting multiple terrorist groups and various cities have been target of bombing attacks over the years. Militants from separatist Kurdish groups as well as Islamic state and left-wing organizations have carried out numerous bombings in the NATO member nation. Last year, six civilians died in a bombing attack in Istanbul, its biggest city.
Erdogan said Turkey maintains its commitment to safeguarding a secure zone extending at least 30 kilometers (19 miles) into its southern border with Syria, with full control over activities beyond it, and underscored that the country is prepared to launch cross-border operations whenever the need arises, regardless of the timing.
(Updates with claim of responsibility in second paragraph.)
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