A devastating coordinated bomb attack has killed at least 86 and injured 186 in Ankara, Turkey this morning. The Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, said that the blasts were caused by suicide bombers likely targeting a peace rally in Ankara outside the nation’s main train station.
Early estimates say that at least 14,000 people were in the area at the time of the blasts. This attack has come only a few weeks before national elections scheduled for November 1st.
Turkish authorities have also said that the bomb blasts occurred about 50 yards from each other.
No group has yet taken responsibility for the attack but analysts point to terrorists associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the PKK, a militant Kurdish nationalist group as the likely perpetrators.
Recently Turkey has taken a more aggressive stance against ISIS by intensifying military action against the group. The ceasefire agreement between Turkey and the PKK has also broken down since July inspiring “tit-for-tat attacks between the two sides, and tension between Kurds and Turkish nationalists,” according to a BBC analyst.
The peace rally was organized to end the violence between the Turkish government and Kurdish PKK and was set to begin at 12 noon local time. A pro-Kurdish political party, HDP, issued a statement saying that it believes it was the main target of the attack.
This is the worst attack in the nation’s capital in recent memory. This was also the third attack targeting activists this year.