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Turkey launches barrage of air strikes after bomb attack near parliament

Turkey destroyed 20 PKK targets after two 'terrorists' carried out attack in Ankara near government buildings, interior minister says
Police officers secure an area near the Interior Ministry following a bomb attack in Ankara, Turkey on 1 October 2023 (Reuters)
Police officers secure an area near the Interior Ministry following a bomb attack in Ankara, Turkey on 1 October 2023 (Reuters)

Turkey carried out air strikes in northern Iraq and destroyed 20 targets of an armed Kurdish group in response to an attempted terrorist attack in Ankara, the Turkish Defence Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The Turkish military ramped up air strikes in northern Iraq's PKK bases in Gara, Hakurk, Metina and Qandil, the statement said.

The strikes come after two men carried out a suicide bomb attack earlier on Sunday, leaving both of them dead and wounding police officers near government buildings in Ankara, Turkey's interior minister said at the time. 

An explosion had been reported by Turkish media near parliament and ministerial buildings in the capital early that day.

"Two terrorists arrived in a commercial vehicle at around 9.30am (6.30am GMT), in front of the entrance gate of the General Directorate of Security of our Ministry of the Interior, and carried out a bomb attack," Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

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He added that one of the perpetrators "blew himself up" while another was "neutralised".

"Two of our police officers were slightly injured. I wish a speedy recovery to our heroes," Yerlikaya said. "Our struggle will continue until the last terrorist is neutralised."

Ankara's chief prosecutor has launched an investigation into what he has also labelled a terrorist attack. 

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

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Following the blast, police cordoned off the area and special operations police were dispatched to the scene, including bomb disposal experts. 

The police said that they would carry out controlled explosions for "suspicious package incidents" across other areas in the Turkish capital.

Turkey's parliament re-opened on Sunday after a three-month summer recess.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the opening ceremony, just hours after the attack took place. 

"The villains who threaten the peace and security of citizens have not achieved their objectives and will never achieve them," Erdogan told parliament. 

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