ANKARA — At least 28 individuals were killed and 61 injured by a car bomb targeting on the Turkish military in the heart of the capital Ankara, the most recent in a series of assaults to shake the nation.
The blast struck a convoy of military vehicles, said Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus, confirming the latest toll. It was unclear who had carried out the attack.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed retaliation against the perpetrators of the attack, which came on the heels of a spate of deadly strikes in Turkey blamed on jihadists and also Kurdish rebels.
The car bomb detonated when a convoy of military buses carrying dozens of soldiers stopped at traffic lights in central Ankara, sparking panic and chaos.
“This attack has very clearly targeted our esteemed nation as a whole and was carried out in a vile, dishonourable, treacherous and insidious way,” said Kurtulmus.
Plumes of smoke could be seen from all over the city rising from the scene, close to the headquarters of the Turkish military and the parliament.
The powerful blast was heard throughout Ankara, sending alarmed residents rushing to their balconies.
“I saw a huge fireball growing,” 25-year-old witness Gurkan, who said he was standing 500 metres (yards) from the scene, told AFP.
“People started to run in all directions in panic as soon as we heard a strong explosion.”
The army said the attack took place at 1631 GMT and had targeted “service vehicles carrying army personnel”.
Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wins presidency
MALE — Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has beaten incumbent Abdulla Yameen according to provisional results, the country’s Elections Commission says.
Results released by the Elections Commission showed Mr Solih securing 133,808 votes (58.3 percent) compared to the 95,526 for incumbent Abdulla Yameen. The voter turnout was over 88 per cent out of the 262,000-strong electorate.
The Maldives government has acknowledged the opposition’s victory after the vote on Sunday, a surprise defeat for President Abdulla Yameen who was widely expected to win.
There were no other candidates.
Mr Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Mr Yameen, but struggled for visibility with the electorate, with local media fearful of falling afoul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.
“I call on Yameen to respect the will of the people and bring about a peaceful, smooth transfer of power,” Solih said on television, shortly after interim results from the country’s election commission.
“We have won this election with a comfortable majority,” Solih said.Follow @gorkhapost