Turkiye says 'terrorists' carried out bomb attack near government building
Turkish media earlier reported that an explosion was heard near parliament and ministerial buildings
ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkiye's interior minister said on Sunday two terrorists carried out a bomb attack in front of the ministry buildings in Ankara, adding one of them died in the explosion and the other was "neutralised" by authorities there.
Turkish media earlier reported that an explosion was heard near the parliament and ministerial buildings, and broadcasters showed footage of debris scattered on a street near the Interior Ministry.
#BREAKING: Two terrorists carry out attack in front of General Directorate of Security in Turkish capital of Ankara, one neutralised, other blows himself – Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya pic.twitter.com/Jx45Y0ZJ0z— TRT World (@trtworld) October 1, 2023
Reuters footage showed soldiers, ambulances, fire trucks and an armoured vehicle gathered near the centre of Turkiye's capital, where police had blocked several nearby roads.
Ali Yerlikaya, the interior minister, said on social media platform X that two police officers were slightly injured in the incident at 9:30 am (0630 GMT).
"Two terrorists came with a light commercial vehicle in front of the entrance gate of the General Directorate of Security of our Ministry of Internal Affairs and carried out a bomb attack," he said.
He added that one blew himself up and the other was "neutralised", which usually means was killed. "Our struggle will continue until the last terrorist is neutralised," Yerlikaya wrote.
Ankara's chief prosecutor launched an investigation into what it also called a terrorist attack.
Authorities did not identify any specific militant group.
The blast was the first in Ankara since 2016, and comes on the day that parliament was set to open a new session.
The blast comes almost a year after six people were killed and 81 wounded in an explosion in a busy pedestrian street in central Istanbul. Turkiye blamed Kurdish militants for that.
During a spate of violence in 2015 and 2016, Kurdish militants, Islamic State and other groups either claimed or were blamed for several attacks in major Turkish cities. In March 2016, 37 people were killed in Ankara when a bomb-laden car exploded at a crowded central transport hub.
President Tayyip Erdogan was set at 7:30 pm to attend the opening of parliament, which in the coming weeks is expected to consider ratifying Sweden's bid to join NATO after Turkey had raised initial objections.
Turkish media reported that authorities were carrying out checks of the parliament after the blast at the ministry. A source told Reuters that the entrance was open but no cars were allowed through as part of the precautions.