Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, has been hit by a large explosion, believed to be caused by a bomb. According to Reuters, the explosion has left at least 27 people dead, with casualties set to rise even further. Local news station NTV confirms that the blast occurred near a bus stop located near a park at Ankara’s main square, Kizilay. Initial reports suggests that the blast could have been caused by a car bomb. Eyewitness have reported that they saw a car slamming into a bus after which the huge explosion was heard. The explosion has also left several people injured. However, it would be some time before we know the actual numbers.
A CCTV footage, said to be of the blast has also been released.
— ➊AlexCam ⏩ (@1alexcam) March 13, 2016
Police officials have cordoned off the area near the blast, and has pushed journalists and onlookers back, forcibly suggesting that there could be a second bomb in the area. There are also reports of Turkish police forcibly stopping reporters from covering the news. Several people have confirmed that the Turkish government has imposed a media gag following the explosion. Social media is currently being used to pass information regarding the incident. We have embedded a few tweets from people talking about the incident below.
— Eshaal Khan (@iEshaalK) March 13, 2016
Another media gag after the Ankara blast. Blast area is like Times Square of Ankara. Could use that Facebook safety check. It’s not there.
— Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) March 13, 2016
— Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) March 13, 2016
Some pictures of the blast.
— The News (@thenews_intl) March 13, 2016
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) March 13, 2016
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) March 13, 2016
Several people have confirmed that Facebook and Twitter have become inaccessible in the country after the explosions. This is, however, yet to be confirmed.
Minutes after the explosion, there were also reports of the sound of gunfire being heard from other parts of the city. Reuters confirms that several ambulances were seen rushing towards the area. A large plume of smoke was also seen emanating from the blast site, and could be seen from at least two miles away, eyewitnesses report.
No one has so far claimed responsibility for the latest attack. However, the initial suspicion is that this blast could be the handiwork of the outlawed Kurdish rebel group, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. The same group was responsible for another blast in Ankara that happened three weeks ago. The blast that happened in February was targeted at buses carrying military personnel and left 29 people dead.
This is a developing story. We will add more information as and when we receive it.
[Photo by AP Photo]