Two suspected suicide bomb attacks at a rally in the Turkish capital have killed at least 95 people and wounded 248 others.The blasts occurred seconds apart outside Ankara’s main train station, where hundreds of people were gathering for a peace march.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said there were “very strong indications” the twin attacks were carried out by two suicide bombers and he has declared three days of mourning.
It is not immediately clear which terror group, if any, was responsible for the explosions shortly after 10am local time (8am UK time) on Saturday morning.
But Mr Davutoglu suggested Kurdish rebels or Islamic State militants were to blame.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also strongly condemned the attacks and called for “solidarity and determination”.
Mr Erdogan has spoken on the telephone to US President Barack Obama, who expressed his condolences and said Americans stood in solidarity with Turkish people “in the fight against terrorism”.
Footage from the moment of the first explosion shows a line of peaceful protesters chanting and holding hands – then running as soon as the bombs were detonated.
According to eyewitnesses, body parts and bloodstains were scattered across a major road junction, in what is one of the deadliest attacks in Turkey for many years.
Graphic images from the scene showed survivors resuscitating the wounded, and several dead bodies draped in flags.
“There was a massacre in the middle of Ankara,” said Lami Ozgen, the head of one of the trade unions involved in the rally.
A newspaper seller working inside the train station said: “I heard one big explosion first and tried to cover myself as the windows broke. Right away there was the second one.
“There was shouting and crying and I stayed under the newspapers for a while. I could smell burnt flesh.”
The peace rally, which the bombing had targeted, was being held to denounce the increasing levels of violence between Turkish security forces and Kurdish rebels.
Turkey is facing multiple security threats – not just from homegrown leftist militants, but from Islamic State fighters in Syria as well.
Airstrikes have also been targeting the bases of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters in northern Iraq.
An election is due to take place in Turkey on 1 November – and the Prime Minister has suspended campaigning for three days in light of the bombings.