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Suspicion falls on ISIS over Ankara blasts

COMMEMORATION: People shouted anti-government slogans as they held pictures of victims during a rally in Ankara yesterday. On Saturday, twin blasts at another rally killed at least 95 people.


    Oct 12, 2015

    Suspicion falls on ISIS over Ankara blasts


    INITIAL indications suggest the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was responsible for twin bombings in the Turkish capital Ankara, two senior Turkish security sources told Reuters yesterday.

    Investigations are also focusing on the radical Islamist group.

    One of the sources said Saturday's bombings, which a pro-Kurdish opposition party said had killed 128 people, bore striking similarities to a suicide bombing in July in the town of Suruc near the Syrian border, also blamed on ISIS.

    "This attack was in the style of Suruc and all the signs are that it was a copy of that attack... the signs point to ISIL," the source said on condition of anonymity, referring to another name for ISIS.

    "All signs indicate that the attack may have been carried out by ISIL. We are completely focused on ISIL," the second source told Reuters.

    Thousands of people attended a rally in Ankara yesterday under heavy security to remember the people killed in twin bombings in the city, an Agence France-Presse correspondent reported.

    The demonstrators filled Sihhiye Square in central Ankara, close to the site of Saturday's blasts outside the city's train station, with some shouting anti-government slogans.

    The rally was called by labour unions, leftist groups, non-governmental organisations and the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) - the same groups that had called the peace rally targeted in Saturday's attack.

    Several demonstrators blamed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the bombings, shouting "Erdogan murderer", "government resign" and "the state will give account".

    The government has ridiculed suggestions it could be implicated in the bombings.

    HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas, speaking to the rally, reaffirmed his party's claim that 128 people were killed, far higher than the official toll of 95 dead.

    The leader said that rather than seeking revenge, people should aim to end Mr Erdogan's rule, starting with Nov 1 legislative elections.