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Yahoo News

Turkey sacks top police brass after Ankara attacks

AFP

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (2nd L), Finland's President Sauli Niinisto (2nd R), and their wives Emine Erdogan (L) and Jenni Haukio attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the site of the bombings in Ankara on October 14, 2015
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Ankara (AFP) – Turkey on Wednesday sacked Ankara’s top police chief and two other officials as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan admitted security shortcomings over a double suicide bombing in the capital that killed 99.

There has been growing anger against Erdogan and the government for alleged security lapses over the worst attack in modern Turkey’s history in which two suicide bombers blew themselves up in a crowd of peace activists on Saturday.

Announcing the first dismissals in the wake of the disaster, the interior ministry said Ankara police chief Kadri Kartal as well the head of the city’s police intelligence and security departments had been removed from their posts.

It said they had been sacked on the suggestion of investigators “to allow for a healthy investigation” into the atrocity.

In his first public remarks on the bombings late Tuesday, Erdogan admitted there were security shortcomings and ordered the State Supervisory Council (DDK), an inspection body attached to the presidency, to undertake a special investigation.

On Wednesday, Erdogan made his first visit to the site of the bombings outside Ankara’s main railway station, laying flowers for the victims alongside visiting Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu meanwhile announced that the toll from the bombings had risen from 97 to 99 dead, and that one Palestinian man was among those killed.

“Ninety-four corpses have been returned to the families and four corpses are to be given to families who have been informed,” Davutoglu told Show TV in an interview.

– ‘Bombers identified’ –

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Explosions kill at least 95 at Turkish peace rally

The Associated Press

Posted:   10/11/2015 12:01:00 AM MDT

 

ANKARA, Turkey —Nearly simultaneous explosions targeted a Turkish peace rally Saturday in Ankara, killing at least 95 people and wounding hundreds in Turkey’s deadliest attack in years — one that threatens to inflame the nation’s ethnic tensions.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said there were “strong signs” that the two explosions — which struck 50 yards apart just after 10 a.m. — were suicide bombings. He suggested that Kurdish rebels or Islamic State group terrorists were to blame.

The two explosions occurred seconds apart outside the capital’s main train station as hundreds of opposition supporters and Kurdish activists gathered for the peace rally organized by Turkey’s public workers union and other groups. The protesters planned to call for increased democracy in Turkey and an end to the renewed violence between Kurdish rebels and Turkish security forces.

Saturday’s attacks came at a tense time for Turkey, a NATO member that borders war-torn Syria, hosts more refugees than any other nation in the world and has seen renewed fighting with Kurdish rebels that has left hundreds dead in the last few months.

Many people at the rally had been anticipating that the rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, would declare a temporary cease-fire — which it did hours after the bombing — to ensure that Turkey’s Nov. 1 election would be held in a safe environment.

Television footage from Turkey’s Dogan news agency showed a line of protesters Saturday near Ankara’s train station, chanting and performing a traditional dance with their hands locked when a large explosion went off behind them. An Associated Press photographer saw several bodies covered with bloodied flags and banners that demonstrators had brought for the rally.

 

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3 October 10 2015 09:49 AM Explosion Turkey Capital City, Ankara Damage level Details

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Terror Attack in Turkey on Saturday, 10 October, 2015 at 09:49 (09:49 AM) UTC.

Description
Thirtly people have reportedly been killed and more than 100 wounded after a suspected terrorist bomb attack in the centre of Turkish capital Ankara. Two explosions shook a road junction in the centre of the city on Saturday as people were gathered for a “peace” march to protest against the conflict between the state and Kurdish militants in southeast Turkey. The Turkish government put the death toll at 30 and said 126 people were injuried. Images of the chaos showed dreadful scenes inculding bodies lying in the road, many draped in flags and banners, and marchers desperately trying to help the wounded. Witnesses said the ground was covered in bloodstains. Authorities were investigating claims the attacks were carried out by a suicide bomber. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was due to hold an emergency meeting with the heads of the police and intelligence agencies and other senior officials. Witnesses said the two explosions happened seconds apart shortly after 10am local time (7am GMT) as hundreds gathered for the planned rally. Violence between the state and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants has flared since July, when Turkey launched air strikes on militant camps in response to what it said were rising attacks on the security forces. Hundreds have since died. The attacks come three weeks ahead of a parliamentary election in Turkey and at a time of multiple security threats, not only in the restive southeast but also from Islamic State militants in neighbouring Syria and home-grown militants.

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Evening Standard

Turkey bombings: 86 killed and hundreds injured after terrorist attack on ‘peace’ march in capital Ankara

Dozens wounded: People carry an injured man after the explosion Reuters/Tumay Berkin

At least 86 people have been killed and nearly 200 wounded after the suspected double sucide bombing of a “peace” march in the Turkish capital Ankara.

Two explosions went off within seconds in the centre of the city on Saturday as hundreds of people were gathered for the rally protesting against the conflict between the state and Kurdish militants in southeast Turkey.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the deadliest attacks in Turkey in years.

Prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu said there were “strong signs” that the attacks – which struck 50 metres apart and left 186 people wounded – were suicide bombings.

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Tragedy: Bodies of victims are covered with flags and banners as police officers secure the area after an explosion in Ankara

Busloads of activists had travelled to Ankara from other cities to attend the peace rally. Health minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said 62 of the blast victims in Ankara died at the scene, while 24 others died after being taken to the hospital.

Images of the chaos showed dreadful scenes including bodies lying in the road, many draped in flags and banners, and marchers desperately trying to help the wounded.

 

Read More Here

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Updated: Saturday, 10 October, 2015 at 10:35 UTC
Description
At least thirty people are dead and 126 wounded in a terror attack that targeted a peace rally in the Turkish capital Ankara. Two explosions rocked the main train station in the city, were thousands had gathered to protest against the long-running conflict between Turkey and the Kurdish separatist group, the PKK. Government officials say the blasts were a terrorist attack and are investigating reports that a suicide bomber was behind at least one of the explosions. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is being briefed by the interior and health ministers, state news agency Anadolu says. The wounded are being treated in various hospitals after the explosions, which occurred at 10:05 am local time (7:04 GMT). The country’s interior ministry confirmed that at least 30 people were killed in the blasts. Those killed and injured had gathered for a rally organised by unions and civil society groups, the ministry said in a written statement. A Reuters reporter at the scene saw at least 20 bodies covered by flags, with bloodstains and body parts scattered on the road. “Bodies lay in two circles around 20 metres apart where the explosions had taken place,” they reported. Witnesses said the blasts were seconds apart shortly after 10am and were so powerful they rocked nearby high-rise buildings. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blasts, which come three weeks ahead of a parliamentary election. A rally for the pro-Kurdish HDP party was bombed in June, ahead of last year’s general election. The country has been in a heightened state of alert since starting a “synchronised war on terror” in July, including airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in Syria and PKK bases in northern Iraq. Designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, the PKK launched a separatist insurgency in 1984 in the south-eastern part of the country. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict to date.

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Updated: Saturday, 10 October, 2015 at 14:35 UTC
Description
Two bomb explosions targeting a peace rally by leftist and Kurdish activists in Turkey’s capital on Saturday killed at least 86 people and wounded 186 others, Turkey’s Interior Ministry says. The explosions occurred minutes apart near Ankara’s main train station as people were gathering for the rally, organized by the country’s public sector workers’ trade union and other civic society groups. The rally aimed to call for an end to the renewed violence between Kurdish rebels and Turkish security forces. It was not clear if the attacks, which came weeks before Turkey’s Nov. 1 elections, were suicide bombings. “There was a massacre in the middle of Ankara,” says the head of the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions. “Two bombs exploded in very short intervals.” Television footage from Turkey’s Dogan news agency showed a line of protesters fanned out on the street near the train station, chanting and performing a traditional dance with their hands locked, when a large explosion hit behind them. An Interior Ministry statement condemned the attack, which it said “targets Turkey’s democracy and peace.” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called an emergency security meeting to discuss the attack. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. In July, a suicide bombing blamed on ISIS killed 33 people in a town near Turkey’s border with Syria, and a leftist militant group has also carried out suicide bombings in Turkey.

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Updated: Monday, 12 October, 2015 at 02:35 UTC
Description
Nearly simultaneous explosions targeted a Turkish peace rally Saturday in Ankara, killing at least 95 people and wounding hundreds in Turkey’s deadliest attack in years – one that threatens to inflame the nation’s ethnic tensions. There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said there were “strong signs” that the two explosions – which struck 50 meters (yards) apart – were suicide bombings. He suggested that Kurdish rebels or Islamic State group militants could be behind the attacks. The two explosions occurred seconds apart outside the capital’s main train station as hundreds of opposition supporters and Kurdish activists gathered for the peace rally organized by Turkey’s public workers’ union and other civic society groups. The groups planned to call for increased democracy in Turkey and an end to the renewed violence between Kurdish rebels and Turkish security forces. The attacks Saturday came at a tense time for Turkey, a NATO member that borders war-torn Syria, hosts more refugees than any other nation in the world and has seen renewed fighting with Kurdish rebels that has left hundreds dead in the last few months. Many people at the rally had been anticipating that the rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, would declare a temporary cease-fire – which the group did hours after the bombing – to ensure that Turkey’s Nov. 1 election would be held in a safe environment. Television footage from Turkey’s Dogan news agency showed a line of protesters Saturday near Ankara’s train station, chanting and performing a traditional dance with their hands locked when a large explosion went off behind them. An Associated Press photographer saw several bodies covered with bloodied flags and banners that demonstrators had brought for the rally. “There was a massacre in the middle of Ankara,” said Lami Ozgen, head of the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions, or KESK. Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said 62 of the blast victims died at the scene, while 24 others died after being taken to the hospital. “This massacre targeting a pro-Kurdish but mostly Turkish crowd could flame ethnic tensions in Turkey,” said Soner Cagaptay, an analyst at the Washington Institute. Cagaptay said the attack could be the work of groups “hoping to induce the PKK, or its more radical youth elements, to continue fighting Turkey,” adding that the Islamic State group would benefit most from the full-blown Turkey-PKK conflict. “(That) development could make ISIS a secondary concern in the eyes of many Turks to the PKK,” Cagaptay said in emailed comments, using another acronym for IS militants. The Turkish government imposed a temporary news blackout covering images that showed the moment of the blasts, gruesome or bloody pictures or “images that create a feeling of panic.” A spokesman warned media organizations they could face a “full blackout” if they did not comply. Many people in Ankara reported being unable to access Twitter and other social media websites after the blasts. It was not clear if authorities had blocked access to the websites, but Turkey often does impose blackouts following attacks. At a news conference, Davutoglu declared a three-day official mourning period for the blast victims and said Turkey had been warned about groups aiming to destabilize the country.

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