Ankara bomber was member of militant rebel group, says official
Kurdistan Workers' Party blamed for suicide car bombings that killed at least 37 people
One of the suicide car bombers who killed at least 37 people in Ankara yesterday is thought to have been a female militant from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a senior Turkish government official has claimed.
The attack took place in Guven Park in the Kizilay district, a transport hub that is home to many administrative buildings, including the justice and interior ministries. Several vehicles were reduced to burnt-out wrecks, including a bus, and 125 people were being treated in hospitals for injuries.
No group has yet claimed responsibility, but anonymous Turkish officials have pointed the finger at militant rebels. "According to initial findings, it seems that this attack has been carried out either by the PKK or an affiliated organisation," one security official told Reuters.
A senior government official also told news agencies that two terrorists were believed to be responsible, one of them a female PKK member. She is said to have been born in 1992 and came from Kars, eastern Turkey.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned the attacks and sought to reassure Turks. "Our people should not worry," he said. "The struggle against terrorism will for certain end in success and terrorism will be brought to its knees."
He suggested that militants were targeting civilians because they were losing their struggle against the Turkish army.
Terror attacks "do not diminish our will to fight against terror, but further boost it", he said.
The attack is the third in the city in less than six months. Three weeks ago, a deadly blast targeting military personnel claimed the lives of 29 people.
Turkey is now facing multiple security threats, says the BBC's Mark Lowen. "The country that was the stable corner of the Middle East and the West's crucial ally in a volatile region is now at a dangerous moment."