THE death toll of the twin terror blasts in Ankara today (Sat) has reached 95 people. Among the first to be identified is a foreign languages student from Didim.
Elif Kanlioglu, aged 20 and studying foreign languages at the University of Mersin, was reported to have been among the dead in the devastating blasts that targeted a peace rally in Ankara
It has since emerged that a second person from Aydin, Canberk Bakış (19) (pictured below and right), also died.
Media reports confirmed that 246 people were injured, with 48 in critical condition following the deadliest terror attack in Turkey’s history.
The blasts outside Ankara’s main train station on Saturday morning at about 10am targeted hundreds of people who had gathered to protest against violence between authorities and the Kurdish militant group, the PKK.
Three days of mourning has been announced by the government, while Turkey’s prime minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, was holding emergency meetings with security chiefs this afternoon.
Video footage on social media showed several bodies lying on the ground, as survivors tried to attend to the wounded.
Earlier in the day, Health Minister Mehmet Müezzionğlu said 62 people had died at the attack scene in addition to 24 people who died at the hospitals.
Some 18 people were under surgery as 28 others were in intensive care, the minister had said six hours after the attack. However, the toll rose to 97.
In the aftermath of the attack, Twitter and Facebook have either been temporarily blocked or was experiencing slow internet speed.
Also, the Supreme Board of Radio and Television said the prime minister’s office had decided to impose a ban on showing images of Saturday’s bomb attack in Ankara for reasons of “public security”.
In a written statement, the board said the ban was imposed due to “security reasons” and “public security”. Such bans are usually put in place to prevent the spread of what the government refers to as terrorist propaganda.
Broadcasters can still cover statements about the twin blasts and air commentary.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack through his official spokesperson. “[Ban] expects the perpetrators of these terrorist acts to be swiftly brought to justice,” read a statement issued by his office.”
The cause of the blasts was not immediately clear, but Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported that it could be a suicide bomber, as eye witnesses said human flesh was all over the scene.
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.
It is not immediately clear which terror group, if any, was responsible for the explosions.
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.