At least 27 people are dead and 75 are wounded after an explosion rocked the Turkish capital of Ankara shortly before 7 pm Sunday evening near the Justice Ministry.
The blast was caused by a bomb-laden car that reportedly exploded between two passenger buses in Ankara’s Kizilay Square, the Ankara Governorate announced in a statement Sunday evening.
Numerous vehicles were ignited and burst into flames at the scene. Several buses also were partly burned or completely incinerated.
The area was quickly evacuated as a precaution against a second attack, according to the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News site.
Wounded victims were rushed to 10 different hospitals across the city, according to CNN Türk.
Smoke could be seen rising above the city from a distance as far as 2.5 kilometers away, according to witnesses quoted by the Daily Sabah news site.
Kizilay Square serves as the city’s main square and main transportation terminus, where approximately 10 bus stops converge in one site.
It is known as the heart of the city’s commercial and entertainment center. The site is only one kilometer from the site of last month’s attack by PKK terrorists.
The government-controlled Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) declared a broadcasting ban on images of the scene and victims.
This is the third major explosion to hit Ankara since last October.
Last month on February 17, a suicide car bomber targeted a military shuttle bus carrying recruits to a facility in central Ankara near the parliament building. At least 29 people lost their lives and 81 others were wounded.
On October 10, 2015, at least 103 were killed in an attack by alleged Da’esh operatives from the ISIS terrorist group who bombed a peace rally near the Ankara Railway Station.
Hana Levi Julian