Bomb blast near Turkish PM's offices

One person wounded after percussion bomb explodes in Ankara shortly before Erdogan was due to host cabinet meeting.

    Kurdish rebels, fighting for autonomy in the southeast, as well as groups on the far left are active in Turkey [Reuters]

    A bomb has exploded near the Turkish prime ministry building in the capital Ankara, lightly injuring one person, state-run TV reported.

    The device, described as a percussion bomb, went off early on Monday, about 30 metres from the building in the central Kizilay district, about an hour before a cabinet meeting was due to be headed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister.

    Police blocked access to the blast zone in the entrance to the parking lot of the supreme court of appeals, fearing a second explosion, the private NTV station said.

    A court employee was injured in the explosion. Bomb experts, wearing protective gear, are searching the area to make sure that no other bomb has been placed.

    "It appears that the explosive material was 150 grammes of light explosives placed inside a plastic bottle," Ankara governor Alaaddin Yuksel was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency.

    'Series of attacks'

    Kurdish separatists, al-Qaeda, as well as groups on the far left and right have all carried out bomb attacks in Turkey in the past, but there was no immediate claim of responsibility for Monday's blast.

    The blast followed a remote-controlled bomb attack in Istanbul last week near the party headquarters of Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP), which wounded 15 police officers and one civilian.

    In September a powerful bomb rocked the centre of Ankara, killing three people and wounding at least 15 others.

    A bomb blast in May last year injured eight people near a bus stop in Etiler, an upscale district in Istanbul.

    A group connected to the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) claimed responsibility for a car bomb that
    killed three people in Ankara in September and threatened more attacks on Turkish cities.

    The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK) said at the time the capital was the "beginning of a series of attacks" and said it
    was behind a previous attack in Antalya, on the Mediterranean coast, where several tourists were wounded by a small explosion on a beach.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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