Turkish PM blames Ankara bombing on I.S.

The wife and son (centre) of victim Ali Kitapci attended a commemoration near the site of the explosions on Monday

The wife and son (centre) of victim Ali Kitapci attended a commemoration near the site of the explosions on Monday

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 one of the main groups at the march put the number of dead at 128.

The funerals of more of the victims took place yesterday.

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).

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.

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.

There are also reports that investigators believe there are similarities between the device used in that attack and those used on Saturday.

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.

The Ankara bombings are the deadliest in Turkey’s history.

“These attacks will not turn Turkey into a Syria,” Prime Minister Davutoglu said yesterday.

–BBC

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