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'Terrorist attack' targets heart of Ankara: Turkey's minister

Security forces are seen outside the Interior Ministry following a bomb attack in Ankara, Turkey October 1, 2023. (Photo by Reuters)

Turkey's interior minister says an explosion near Turkey's parliament in Ankara was a “terrorist attack” that left two police officers injured.

One of the terrorists died in the explosion and the other was “neutralized” by authorities there, Ali Yerlikaya said in a post on the social media platform X on Sunday.

Two police officers were “slightly injured” in the fire caused by the blast, he added.

Turkish media earlier reported that a loud explosion was heard near the parliament and ministerial buildings, and broadcasters showed footage of debris scattered on a street near the interior ministry. Some reports said the explosion was followed by gunfire.

Yerlikaya said a commercial vehicle carried out the bomb attack at the entrance gate of the Interior Ministry's General Directorate of Security.

Saat 09.30 sıralarında İçişleri Bakanlığımız Emniyet Genel Müdürlüğü giriş kapısı önüne hafif ticari araçla gelen 2 terörist bombalı saldırı eyleminde bulunmuştur.

Teröristlerden biri kendini patlatmış, diğer terörist etkisiz hale getirilmiştir.

Açılan ateş sırasında 2 Emniyet…

— Ali Yerlikaya (@AliYerlikaya) October 1, 2023

The attack occurred hours before parliament was scheduled to reopen following a summer recess. All parliament members, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, were expected to be at the chamber in the afternoon around 2pm.

Media footage showed soldiers, ambulances, fire trucks and an armored vehicle gathered near the center of Turkey's capital, where security forces have surrounded the parliament building and closed roads leading to it.

Television footage showed bomb squads working near a parked vehicle in the area.

The bombing, the first to hit Ankara in a number of years, comes almost a year after six people were killed and 81 wounded in an explosion in a busy pedestrian street in central Istanbul on Nov 13, 2022.

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