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Turkey blames Kurds, Syria for attack

Updated: 2016-02-19 02:40
By AGENCIES in Ankara, ZHANG YUNBI and SU ZHOU in Beijing (China Daily)

14 arrested after deadly rush-hour bombing in Ankara; China urges anti-terrorist coordination

Turkey blames Kurds, Syria for attack

Soldiers and security officers stand around a damaged military vehicle near Diyarbakir, Turkey, on Thursday. A bomb detonated by remote control killed at least six Turkish security force members traveling in a military vehicle in southeast Turkey on Thursday, security sources said, a day after a car bomb attack in the capital of Ankara killed 28 people. SERTAC KAYAR / REUTERS

Turkey's leaders on Thursday blamed Kurdish militant groups in Turkey and Syria, as well as the Syrian government, for the rush-hour suicide bombing in Ankara that killed 28 people on Wednesday.

It vowed strong retaliation against the perpetrators, which could further complicate the Syria conflict.

Turkish authorities have detained 14 people in connection with the attack and were trying to identify others. Turkey's military, meanwhile, said its jets conducted cross-border raids against Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq, hours after the Ankara attack, striking at a group of about 60 to 70 rebels of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

The car-bomb attack on Wednesday evening that targeted buses carrying military personnel also injured more than 60, as Turkey grapples with such issues as renewed fighting with the Kurdish rebels, the threat from Islamic State militants and the Syrian refugee crisis. The blast was the second deadly bombing in Ankara in four months.

On Thursday afternoon, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official said the ambassadors of the five permanent UN Security Council member states had been invited to the ministry separately to be briefed on the attack in Ankara.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said a Syrian national with links to Syrian Kurdish militia carried out the attack in collaboration with the outlawed PKK. Davutoglu also accused Syria's government of responsibility for allegedly backing the Syrian Kurdish militia.

The Kurdish Democratic Union Party, or PYD, denied the Turkish accusations. Salih Muslim Muhammad, a PYD co-chairman, said the Islamic State group was responsible for the Ankara attack.

The Ankara bombing and the subsequent accusations and denials came amid mounting tension between Turkey and the Kurds.

Turkish artillery has been shelling Kurdish fighters' positions in northern Syria to prevent them from advancing near the Turkish borders.

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