Ankara explosions leave more than 80 dead – officials #Beekhaybee

Two explosions at a peace rally in the Turkish capital
Ankara have killed at least 86 people and injured 186,
according to officials.
TV footage showed 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 as
people gathered for a march organised by leftist groups.
The attack is the deadliest ever of its kind on Turkish soil.
In pictures: Aftermath of attacks
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has announced three days
of national mourning, and said there was evidence that two
suicide bombers had carried out the attacks.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the attack, which
comes weeks before an election, was an act of terrorism
and was “loathsome”.
The rally was demanding an end to the violence between the
Kurdish separatist PKK militants and the Turkish
government, and had been due to start at 12:00 local time.
The pro-Kurdish HDP party was among those attending, and
it said in a statement that it believes its members were the
main target of the bombings.
The leader of the HDP has blamed the state for the attack,
which he called “a huge massacre”, and cancelled all
election rallies.
The party has previously blamed the government for
colluding in attacks on Kurdish activists, which the
government denies.
Analysis: Mark Lowen, BBC News, Istanbul
After the ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish state
broke down in July, Turkey has spiralled into tit-for-tat
attacks between the two sides, and tension between Kurds
and Turkish nationalists has soared.
Amidst the frenzy of a repeat election in November, it was
expected that something dangerous was imminent.
The pro-Kurdish HDP party has blamed the state. That is
undoubtedly a reference to the so-called “deep state” often
talked about here: a shady mix of nationalist forces either
colluding with or supporting the government in power.
The West’s vital ally in the Middle East is now facing a
perfect storm: deep political polarisation, the bubble of
economic success on the brink of bursting, a resumption of
violence with the PKK, the threat from Islamic State, and
two million Syrian refugees and counting.
The tragedy in Ankara is a sign of the dark times Turkey is
now facing.
Who are the Kurds?
Turkey v Islamic State v the Kurds: What’s going on?
The two explosions happened shortly after 10:00 as crowds
gathered ahead of the rally. Amateur video footage showed
a group of young people holding hands and singing, before
the first blast.
Opposition MP Musa Cam tweeted a photo of a ball bearing
he says he found at the scene.
“I heard one big explosion first and tried to cover myself as
the windows broke. Right away there was the second one,”
an eyewitness at the train station told Reuters.
“There was shouting and crying and I stayed under the
newspapers for a while. I could smell burnt flesh,” he
added.
“There was a great movement and panic,” eyewitness
Ahmet Onen told AFP.
“A demonstration that was to promote peace has turned into
a massacre, I don’t understand this,” he said, sobbing.
Bulent Tekdemir, who was at the rally, told the BBC that the
police used tear gas “as soon as the bomb went off”, and
“would not let ambulances through”.
A local resident said that angry people tried to attack police
cars after the blast. The HDP tweeted that police “attacked”
people carrying the injured away.
Turkey is holding a re-run of June’s inconclusive
parliamentary elections on 1 November.
An HDP rally in the city of Diyarbakir was bombed in June ,
ahead of general elections in which the party entered
parliament for the first time.
In July, a suicide bombing by suspected Islamic State
militants on a gathering of socialist youth activists in the
town of Suruc on the Syrian border killed at least 30 people.
A ceasefire between the Kurdish militant group the PKK and
Turkey’s government later broke down, with the PKK
accusing the security forces of collaborating with IS.
This led to an increase in attacks from both sides over the
summer.
On Saturday the PKK called on its fighters to halt its
guerrilla activities in Turkey unless attacked first. A
statement from an umbrella group that includes the PKK
said its forces would “make no attempts to hinder or harm
the exercise of a fair and equal election”.
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