Ankara twin blast in three questions
AP photoThe Oct. 10 attack targeting a peace rally in the capital Ankara left at least 95 dead and 246 wounded, marking the largest single terror attack in the country’s history.
Here are our known answers so far to three questions related to the attack.
1. Where and when did the attack happen? Who did it target?
A peace rally was due to be held in Sıhhiye Square near Ankara’s main train station, the site of the bombings. Many labor organizations, including the Confederation of Public Sector Trades’ Unions (KESK), the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK), the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), and the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) were among the organizers of the rally.
At 10 a.m. participants - especially those coming from different provinces - began to gather at the train station.
The first blast happened at 10.04 a.m., followed by a second one three seconds later, to the right and left of the road junction in front of the station, according to official statements.
2. Suicide bomber or not?
An image of a metal ball, which was shared on Twitter by a Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy at the scene, is seen as a clue that the attackers used a cluster bomb. The form of the explosion and the amount of explosives used show similarity with the July 20 Suruç bombing, officials told the state-run Anadolu Agency. TNT explosives enforced by metal balls were used, the initial police investigation revealed.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also said there are “strong indications” that the attack was carried out by two suicide bombers, but some officials say the attack might have been caused by a bomb placed in a bag, considering the strength of the explosion.
A clearer picture will hopefully emerge once criminal investigations and security footage is examined. Twenty prosecutors, four of whom are chief public prosecutors, are now working on the attack.
3. Was there a security flaw?
Ahead of the rally, police erected checkpoints only in the Sıhhiye Square where the rally was due to take place. The fact that the crowds gathered in front of the main station were not subjected to body searches has intensified claims of security flaws.
Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chair Mehmet Ali Şahin said more serious searches and security measures should have been taken, urging a serious investigation into whether security forces were responsible for poor precautions at the site.
However, Interior Minister Selami Altınok said he did not think there was a security flaw, adding that a ground search was conducted outside the rally area.