Turkey: One of Ankara Attackers Was Female

VOA News

The authorities did not name the woman, but said she was born in 1992, lived in the eastern Turkish city of Kars and joined the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, known as the PKK, in 2013.

Sunday’s attack in Ankara’s Kizilay square, a key shopping center and transportation hub in the Turkish capital, was the second deadly blast in the last month that government officials have blamed on Kurdish militants.

For three decades, Kurdish militants have fought government forces for more autonomy in southeastern Turkey, but since July, about 210 people have been killed in five suicide bombings that have been blamed on Kurdish rebels or Islamic State jihadists.

After the latest blast, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to bring «terrorism to its knees.»

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Twitter, «With the power of our state and wisdom of our people, we will dig up the roots of this terror network which targets our unity and peace.»

There has been no claim of responsibility for the bombing, which Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said targeted civilians at a bus stop.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s military said its warplanes Monday carried out 18 airstrikes targeting Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.  Ammunition depots, bunkers and shelters were among the targets.

Turkish forces have been carrying out an offensive against the PKK since July, when Erdogan declared the fight would continue until every militant is defeated.

Members of emergency services work at the scene of an explosion in Ankara, Turkey, Sunday, March 13, 2016.

Members of emergency services work at the scene of an explosion in Ankara, Turkey, Sunday, March 13, 2016.

The United States quickly condemned the Ankara attack and reaffirmed its «strong partnership with our NATO ally Turkey in combating the shared threat of terrorism.»

Aside from its fight with Kurdish rebels, Turkey has been targeted by Islamic State, which was blamed for a suicide bombing at a peace rally last October in Ankara.  The incident, which left more than 100 people dead, was the bloodiest single terrorist attack since Turkey became a modern state in 1923.

Dogan Asik, 28, who was blown away from inside a bus by a powerful explosion speaks at the explosion site in the busy center of Turkish capital, Ankara, Turkey, March 13, 2016.

Dogan Asik, 28, who was blown away from inside a bus by a powerful explosion speaks at the explosion site in the busy center of Turkish capital, Ankara, Turkey, March 13,