Documentation of the attack outside the Interior Ministry in Ankara/Reuters
Turkey's air force struck targets of the Kurdish underground in northern Iraq on Sunday in response to an attack in Ankara, Turkey's defense ministry said, hours after two terrorists attacked an interior ministry building in the capital, wounding two policemen.
According to Turkey's Defense Ministry, "a total of 20 targets were destroyed, including caves, bunkers, shelters and warehouses belonging to the separatist terrorist organization." It was also reported that many militants were "neutralized" in attacks targeting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which claimed responsibility for the attack in Ankara. The Turkish Defense Ministry added that the attacks were carried out in the provinces of Matina, Kurq, Qandil and Gara in northern Iraq at 21 p.m., and that all measures had been taken to avoid civilian and environmental casualties.
The ANF website, which is close to the PKK, quoted the Kurdish underground as saying in a statement that a team from the Immortal Battalion carried out the attack. The PKK is designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. He began his insurgency in southeastern Turkey in 00, and more than 1984,40 people have been killed since the conflict began.
Turkey regularly bombs Kurdish targets in the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, but yesterday's strikes were more extensive. Ankara's forces are also deployed in northern Syria to prevent the entrenchment of the local Kurdish government.
The moment of the explosion outside the Interior Ministry in Ankara, yesterday/Reuters
Sunday's attack disrupted a long period of calm in the capital. Turkey has seen many deadly attacks in recent years, some of which were carried out by the Islamic State (ISIS) and others by Kurdish militants. The last attack in Ankara was in 2016, when a deadly wave of terrorism hit Turkey.
Security camera footage shows a vehicle stopping near the Interior Ministry's main gate, located on Atatürk Avenue, in an area where several government offices are located. One of the occupants of the vehicle was seen walking quickly towards the building before being swallowed up by a large explosion, while the other terrorist remained on the street before being killed by security forces.
Photos from the scene show a grenade launcher used by the attackers and a Renault Kangoo van, with broken windows and open doors. A senior Turkish official told Reuters that the terrorists hijacked the car and killed its driver in Kayseri, about 260 kilometers southeast of Ankara, before launching the attack. He said one of the officers was wounded by shrapnel.
After the attack, police said they detonated several "suspicious objects" in other parts of the city, and Ankara's chief prosecutor opened an investigation into the attack.
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"Another attempt to sow terror among Turkish citizens." Erdogan arrives in parliament, yesterday/Reuters
In a speech at the start of parliament a few hours later, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the attack was "another attempt" to sow terror among Turkish citizens. "Those who threaten the peace and security of citizens have not achieved their goals and never will," Erdogan said.
The attack came nearly a year after six people were killed and 81 injured in an explosion on a busy pedestrian street in central Istanbul. Turkey blamed Kurdish militants for decades, but they denied it.
In 2015, when a ceasefire between Turkey and the PKK collapsed, and in 2016, a series of deadly attacks shook the country's major cities. In March 2016, 37 people were killed in Ankara when a car bomb exploded in a crowded area.
Many countries, including the United States and Egypt, condemned the attack, and Oliver Verhely, the European Union official responsible for expanding the bloc, said he supported Turkey in its "fight against terrorism."
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