Thousands Rally In Ankara To Honor Victims Killed In Blasts

Thousands Rally In Ankara To Honor Victims Killed In Blasts
Photo Courtesy: UPI

ANKARA, Turkey, Oct. 11 (UPI) — Thousands of people gathered in the capital city of Ankara, Turkey, on Sunday to honor the victims of twin suicide bombings that killed at least 95 people during a peace rally.

No group has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack, but several Turkish government officials believe Kurdish rebels or the Islamic State are to blame.

“This is an attack that does not target a specific group; it is an attack on the entire nation and [an] attack on our unity. Turkey is a country that has managed to maintain peace in the region,” Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a televised address.

Turkey declared three days of mourning following the attack, which injured nearly 250 people.

The bombings, considered the deadliest terror attack in modern Turkish history, happened seconds apart near Ankara’s main train station as hundreds were preparing for a lunchtime peace rally in Sihhiye Square.

Video footage showed a group of young people holding hands and singing before the first explosion. The peace rally was to call for the end to conflict between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and the Turkish state.

The attacks happened ahead of a re-election on Nov. 1 after a failed vote to elect a single-party government. Turkey is part of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State, allowing the U.S. to launch airstrikes from the Incirlik Air Base.

Many have blamed the Turkish government for failing to provide appropriate security measures that could have prevented the bombing. There were some scuffles between some demonstrators and police on Sunday when a group of people attempting to carry red flowers to the scene of the bombing, but were stopped by police.



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