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    Ankara Terrorist Attack Update

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    In a shocking incident that rocked the Turkish capital, Ankara, on Sunday, two attackers detonated a bomb in front of government buildings, marking the city’s first terrorist attack in years. The assault resulted in the deaths of both attackers and left two police officers wounded. CCTV footage obtained by Reuters captured the harrowing moments when a vehicle pulled up to the Interior Ministry’s main gate, with one occupant walking swiftly toward the building before being engulfed in a powerful explosion. The other attacker remained on the street.

    The explosion, which occurred on Ataturk Boulevard, is the first of its kind in Ankara since 2016, a year marked by a series of deadly attacks across the country. Turkish officials reported that the attackers had hijacked the vehicle they used in the attack, killing its driver in Kayseri, a city located 260 kilometers (161 miles) southeast of Ankara, before carrying out the assault. One of the wounded officers sustained shrapnel injuries.

    In response to the attack, President Tayyip Erdogan, speaking at the opening of a new parliamentary session, condemned the incident as;

    While no specific militant group has been identified in connection with the attack, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey and its Western allies, claimed responsibility. The PKK stated that a team from their “Immortal Brigade” had carried out the sacrificial action against the Turkish Interior Ministry.

    The incident comes nearly a year after an explosion in central Istanbul killed six people and wounded 81 others. Turkish authorities attributed that attack to Kurdish militants. In the years preceding this incident, Turkey had witnessed a series of attacks in major cities, with various groups, including Kurdish militants and the Islamic State, claiming responsibility.

    Ankara’s chief prosecutor has initiated an investigation into the incident, also classifying it as a terrorist attack. Meanwhile, Turkey’s parliament is expected to consider Sweden’s bid to join NATO in the coming weeks, following initial objections and delays in the enlargement of the alliance. Erdogan, addressing the parliament, emphasized the importance of agreeing on a new constitution during the upcoming session.

    The international community has expressed solidarity and condemnation of the attack. Charles Michel, European Council president, strongly condemned what he termed a terrorist attack, while EU Commissioner for Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi pledged support for Turkey in its fight against terrorism. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar also denounced the attack, expressing solidarity with the Turkish people in their struggle against terrorism.

    In a show of solidarity, PML-N president and former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif extended his prayers for the swift recovery of the injured police officers and conveyed the unwavering support of the people of Pakistan to their Turkish counterparts.

    As the investigation into the attack unfolds, the incident serves as a grim reminder of the ongoing challenges posed by terrorism and the importance of international cooperation in countering this global threat.

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