At least 86 have been killed and 186 injured in a terrorist attack at 10.05am today (Sat) on a peace rally in the centre of the Turkish capital, various news agencies have reported.
At least one explosion occurred at a road junction in Ankara on Saturday morning, when hundreds had gathered to protest violence between authorities and Kurdish separatist group, the PKK.
The health minister confirmed 86 people were killed in the blasts and 126 were wounded. . It is believed the death toll could continue to rise.
Immediately after the attack at least 20 bodies could be seen covered by bloodstained flags on the road. Witnesses said the blasts were seconds apart shortly after 10am and were so powerful they rocked nearby high-rise buildings.
Turkish government officials said the explosion was a terrorist attack and are investigating the claim that a suicide bomber was responsible.
Prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu is to hold a meeting with government officials and security chiefs in response to the attack, his office said.
A Reuters reporter at the scene saw at least 15 bodies covered by flags, with bloodstains and body parts scattered on the road. Another witness told CNN there were two blasts, each so powerful they rocked high-rise buildings that were nearby.
Reports suggest that 100 were injured by an explosion near Ankara’s main train station, where the Confederation of Public Sector Trades’ Unions (KESK) and other labor unions were planning to hold a “Labor, peace, democracy” rally at Sıhhiye Square.
Emergency services raced to the scene following the blast at 10.05 a.m. local time (0705GMT).
Bodies lay in front of the station on Hipodrum Street, where people had started to arrive for a peace rally in Ankara.
Paramedics tended to the injured as a police helicopter circled overhead. Protest banners and flags littered the ground and members of the public helped carry the injured to ambulances and buses to take them to hospital
Two blasts were heard according witnesses.
The cause of the blast has not yet been specified, but some reports claim it was a suicide attack. Eye witnesses said there were two consecutive blasts.
An Anadolu Agency correspondent at the scene said there were bodies and wounded people lying in front of the station on Hipodrum Street, where people had started to arrive for a peace rally in Ankara.
Meanwhile, PM Ahmet Davutoğlu was briefed by the interior, health ministers about the bomb blast, and called for a meeting at 12 p.m. with Ankara governor, intelligence and police officials to discuss the attack.