Published on 12 Oct 2015 Sections ,

Turkey bombing: government blames Islamic State

The Turkish government says it believes Islamic State was responsible for suicide bombings in Ankara that killed at least 97 people.

As funerals were held for victims, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said investigators were close to identifying one of the suspects involved in Turkey’s worst ever terrorist attack.

Speaking to Turkish broadcaster NTV, Mr Davutoglu said Saturday’s attack was an attempt to influence the result of parliamentary elections on 1 November and that steps would be taken if security failures were found to have contributed to the bombing.

“It was definitely a suicide bombing. DNA tests are being conducted. It was determined how the suicide bombers got there. We’re close to a name, which points to one group,” he said.

Turkish security forces say the attack was similar to a suicide bombing in Suruc in July which was blamed on IS extremists.

March

The two explosions happened seconds apart as hundreds gathered for a march organised by pro-Kurdish activists and civic groups to protest over the conflict between Turkish security forces and militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the south east of the country.

The pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), which believes it was the target of the attack, has said 128 people were killed, but Mr Davutoglu’s office dispues this, saying 97 died.

On Monday, a top PKK commander said the group would stick to a ceasefire pledge announced at the weekend.

Attack

Firat news agency reported Murat Karayilan as saying that the PKK should not carry out operations in Turkey unless they came under attack from the security forces. The Turkish government has rejected the PKK’s ceasefire and is continuing to attack it.

The HDP won parliamentary seats for the first time in June. Its success meant President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s governing AK Party was left without a majority.

Some government critics, including the HDP, think the state was involved in the bombings and was trying to bost its support in the November elections.

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