Sunday rally in Ankara mourning victims of the bomb blasts
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ANKARA – Amid heavy security procedures, thousands of people on Sunday participated in a rally in Ankara to remember the victims of the twin bombings that hit the Turkish capital earlier on Saturday, as investigators strive to identify the perpetrators.
On Saturday morning, two suicide bombings hit a peace rally of pro-Kurdish and labour activists near Ankara’s main train station ahead of November polls, fuelling conflict between state forces and Kurdish guerillas in southeastern Turkey.
The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) accused the state of involvement in the attack. The HDP supporters clashed with police after the attack.
The authorities denied any involvement in the attacks that hit peaceful Kurdish and leftist activists.
This comes as NATO member Turkey faces external threats with increased fighting across its border with Syria and Iraq, beside the Russian warplanes’ incursions in its airspace. Activists accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of corruption and refusal to implement any democratic reforms in Turkey.
On Sunday, state media reported that the Turkish authorities are working hard to identify the perpetrators and victims of the attack, as the country began three days of national mourning.
One of the bombers had been identified as a male, aged 25-30, after analysing bodies at the scene and taking fingerprints, the pro-government Yeni Safak agency said.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said either Islamic State, Kurdish rebels or far-leftist radicals could have carried out the bombings.
Davutoglu’s office named 52 of the victims overnight and said autopsies were continuing. It said 246 wounded people were still being treated, 48 of them in intensive care.
Families and friends of the casualties crowded on Sunday morning outside the hospitals where the wounded were being treated.
Reporting by: Egid Yousef
Source: ARA News