ANKARA: At least 86 people were killed and 126 injured on Saturday when two explosions rocked Turkish capital Ankara ahead of a peace rally, the media reported.
Health Minister Mehmet Muezzionglu said that 62 people died on the spot while 24 people succumbed to injuries in hospitals. Some 18 people were under observation while 28 others were in intensive care, he added.
Nine policemen were also injured in the attack, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
The explosions occurred near the main train station of the city where People’s Democratic Party (HDP) supporters were gathering to hold the rally to protest against the conflict between the state and outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters in southeast Turkey.
According to Dogan News Agency, the blasts took place several minutes apart, with the first going off at around 10 a.m. local time.
Government officials are investigating reports that a suicide bomber was behind at least one of the explosions.
The rally was organised by the Confederation of Public Sector Trades’ Unions, Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey, Turkish Medical Association and Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has held a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan, Health Minister Müezzionglu, Interior Minister Selami Altinok, police and intel chiefs and Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek in response to the attack, Davutoglu’s office said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned the attack terming it the largest single terror attack in Turkey’s history.
The motive behind the attack remains unknown.