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Ankara explosion: Blasts hit rally in Turkish capital

Two explosions have hit a peace rally in the Turkish capital Ankara, causing multiple casualties, reports say.

Turkish news agency Dogan said that at least 20 people have been killed. TV footage shows scenes of panic and people lying on the ground covered in blood, amid protest banners.

The blasts took place near the city’s central train station.

The target appears to have been a march calling for an end to the violence with the Kurdish separatist group, the PKK.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is being briefed by the interior and health ministers, state news agency Anadolu says.

Government officials say the blasts were a terrorist attack and are investigating reports that a suicide bomber was behind at least one of the explosions.

The leader of the pro-Kurdish HDP party has blamed the state for the attack, and cancelled all election rallies.

Banners and injured person in Ankara
Image copyrightDHA
Image captionFootage from the scene showed banners from the planned peace rally
Woman talks on phone after blast in Ankara
Image copyrightdha

The HDP was among those calling for Saturday’s rally for “peace and democracy”, which was due to start at 12:00 local time.

The party tweeted that there were “numerous dead and injured”, and that police “attacked” people carrying the injured away.

Local resident Emre told the BBC that he heard two separate explosions and saw a number of dead bodies. Angry people tried to attack police cars, he said.

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An HDP rally in the city of Diyarbakir was bombed in June, ahead of general elections.

Turkey is holding another election next month, and the BBC’s Mark Lowen in Istanbul says it was feared that another similar attack was imminent.

Map showing location of Ankara in Turkey



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