28 killed in Ankara car bomb explosion

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A car bomb explosion in Ankara has killed 28 people and wounded 61 others, Turkey’s deputy prime minister said.

Numan Kurtulmus confirmed that Wednesday’s explosion was caused by a car bomb and targeted military vehicles that were carrying armed forces personnel.

He said seven prosecutors have been assigned to investigate the attack, which he described as “well-planned.”

No group has yet claimed responsibility, but Mr Kurtulmus pledged authorities would find those behind the attack.

The explosion occurred during rush hour in an area some 300 metres away from military headquarters. The vehicles were targeted as they stopped at traffic lights.

Military officials condemned the attack as “contemptible and dastardly”.

It was not clear who was behind the bombing. Kurdish rebels, the Islamic State (IS) group and a leftist extremist group have carried out attacks in the country recently.

The attack comes at a tense time when the Turkish government is facing an array of challenges.

A fragile peace process with the Kurdish rebels collapsed in the summer.

Security forces have been engaged in large-scale operations against Kurdish militants in the south-east since December, imposing controversial curfews in flashpoint areas, and the fighting has displaced tens of thousands of civilians.

Turkey has also been helping efforts led by the US to combat IS in neighbouring Syria and has faced several deadly bombings in the last year that were blamed on IS.

Turkey’s prime minister has cancelled a planned visit to Brussels following the explosion.

Ahmet Davutoglu had been scheduled to travel to Brussels later on Wednesday.

Instead, Mr Davutoglu attended a security meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other officials.

Mr Kurtulmus said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also cancelled a planned visit to Azerbaijan following the blast.

Mr Erdogan was due in Baku on Thursday for talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart.

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