At least 28 people were killed and 61 wounded by a car bomb that went off during evening rush hour near parliament in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Wednesday, the Associated Press reports. Officials said the bomb had targeted buses carrying military personnel.
“We believe that those who lost their lives included our military brothers as well as civilians,” Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said, calling the attack “contemptible and dastardly.”
“We do not yet know the perpetrators,” he told reporters. “This attack did not only target our military personnel in those shuttles. This attack openly targets our entire nation. We condemn those who carried it out, those who instrumentalised the perpetrators, and those who gave logistical, intelligence and even political support to such attacks.”
An official at the armed forces’ general staff confirmed military buses had been the target, hit by an explosive-laden car as they waited at traffic lights. The country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that the attack would only strengthen Turkey’s resolve against insurgents.
Plumes of smoke were seen rising over the area and the powerful blast was heard all over the city, sending residents to their balconies in panic. Television footage showed an intense fire around a burned-out bus and emergency vehicles rushing to the scene. A spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP), Ömer Çelik, said he strongly condemned the attack as a “heinous act of terrorism”.