Monday, March 14, 2016

Turkish planes strike Kurds after Ankara car bomb

Turkish war planes have struck Kurdish rebel bases in northern Iraq a day after a deadly bomb attack in the capital Ankara killed 37 people, the army said.

The fighter jets hit arms depots and shelters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the mountainous Kandil and Gara regions in northern Iraq, the army said, quoted by the state-run Anatolia news agency.

The targets were hit "with precision", it added.

No one has claimed Sunday's bomb attack in Ankara which hit a busy transport hub in the heart of the city of five million people.

Security officials said evidence shows that one of two suspected perpetrators was a woman in her 20s from eastern Turkey who joined the PKK in 2013.
The death toll from the explosion has now risen to 37 people, the government said.

"As of this morning ... we lost three more citizens in hospital," health minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said, adding that at least one of the attackers was counted in the overall toll.

Mr Muezzinoglu added that 71 people were still being treated in hospital, of which 15 were in serious condition.

The bombing was the second such attack in the administrative heart of the city in under a month and two senior security officials told Reuters initial findings suggested the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group was responsible.

The previous car bombing came just a few blocks streets on 17 February, which killed 29 people, most of them soldiers, and was claimed by a group close to the PKK.

The government said Syrian Kurdish militants were also involved in that attack, near the military headquarters, parliament and other key government institutions.

Last night, prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu held an emergency meeting with the interior minister, the head of the intelligence agency and police and security chiefs, officials said.

President Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone with the interior minister.

State broadcaster TRT said the car had exploded at a major transport hub, hitting a bus carrying around 20 people near the central Guven Park and Kizilay Square. It said the area was crowded when the explosion happened.
Source: AFP/Reuters/



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