86 Killed in Ankara Terror Attacks

86 Killed in Ankara Terror Attacks86 Killed in Ankara Terror Attacks

Two explosions at a road junction in the center of the Turkish capital Ankara have killed at least 86 people and injured nearly 200 others, the country’s health minister said.

The first blast occurred at around 10:00am (0700 GMT), with the second following shortly after, Al Jazeera reported.

Authorities are exploring the possibility that the blasts could have been caused by a suicide bomber.

The explosions occurred near a train station where people were gathering for a peace march to protest against the conflict between the state and Kurdish fighters in southeast Turkey. At a press conference in Ankara on Saturday afternoon, the Turkish health minister said that the death toll from the blasts had risen from 30 to 86, with 186 injured, including 28 who are in intensive care.

Faruk Bildirici, a Turkish journalist who was attending the rally, said there were only seconds between the two attacks.

“I have seen people using banners trying to cover dead bodies and striving to carry the wounded, again with large banners. There were no ambulances or police at the scene,” he said.

“This gathering was to deliver a message of peace, democracy and brotherhood in Turkey. This attack prevented people from delivering this message.”

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly denounced the attack.

“I strongly condemn this heinous attack on our unity and our country’s peace,” Erdogan said in a statement posted on the presidency’s website.

“No matter what its origin, aim or name, we are against any form of terrorist act or terrorist organization. We are obliged to be against it together,” Erdogan said.

Hours after the blasts in Ankara, the PKK called for a unilateral ceasefire in its fight against the Turkish state “unless they or the Kurdish people are attacked”, according to a statement carried by Kurdish news agencies.

The statement did not reference Saturday’s attack in Ankara.

The move was widely expected as analysts said the PKK hoped it would boost the HDP’s score in the upcoming election.