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Turkish PM blames Ankara bombing on Islamic State

Publishing Date : 12 October, 2015

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Carnations have been placed near the site of the bombing, in the heart of Turkey's capital

The Islamic State (IS) group is the prime suspect in the Ankara bombings that killed nearly 100 on Saturday, Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu has said.

No group has said it carried out the attack, but the government believes that two male suicide bombers caused the explosions, hitting a peace rally.

The official death toll is 97 but rally organisers have put the figure at 128.

Funerals for more of the victims were held on Monday, with some mourners expressing anger at the government.

Saturday's twin explosions ripped through a crowd of activists outside the main railway station in the Turkish capital.

They were due to take part in a rally calling for an end to the violence between Turkish government forces and the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The political campaigning has been interrupted because of the attacks. The pro-Kurdish HDP is considering cancelling all its rallies prior to the election out of security concerns.

The governing party has already cancelled its rallies until Friday but they will be holding "rallies against terror" afterwards.

Some already had doubts about how free and fair the upcoming elections would be, as there were attempts to move polls from violence-ridden areas in the south-east to more secure locations. But election officials had ruled out that option.

Saturday's attacks seem to have further polarised Turkey. Leaders cannot come together to make a united stand against violence.

Many now fear the country could end up in escalating violence that could lead to the elections being scrapped.

There is anger in Turkey that authorities were unable to prevent such a major attack - and some scepticism from opposition groups about the government's claims.

Mr Davutoglu said authorities were close to identifying one of the suicide bombers, using DNA tests, and that this would help to pinpoint which group was responsible.

He had previously said that IS, the PKK and far-left groups were all capable of such an attack.

The situation in Turkey was tense even before the Ankara bombings.

The ceasefire with the PKK had broken down and there had been clashes between the militants and security forces, killing at least 150 since July.

Some local media have implicated the brother of a man who carried out an IS bombing in the southern border town of Suruc in July, which killed more than 30 people.

Turkey announced after the Suruc bombing that it would allow its southern Incerlik airbase to be used by the US-led coalition targeting IS in Syria. Turkey, a Nato member, shares a long land border with its unstable southern neighbour.




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