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Ankara bomber was Syrian linked to Kurdish fighters: reports

Ankara: Turkish authorities suspect that a deadly car bombing in the heart of Ankara targeting military service vehicles was carried out by a Syrian national who entered Turkey with refugees and had links to Kurdish fighters, reports said on Thursday.

The attack Wednesday night killed 28 people and left 61 wounded in the latest in a string of deadly strikes in Turkey in recent months.

Police have identified the bomber as a Syrian named Salih Necar from fingerprints taken from refugees who crossed the border to escape the five-year war in Syria, the strongly pro-government Yeni Safak and anti-government Sozcu daily said.

The reports said he was killed in the explosion, without specifying if he had acted as a suicide bomber.

Blast in Turkey's capital, Ankara. AFP

Blast in Turkey's capital, Ankara. AFP

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Wednesday it was not clear who had carried out the attack but promised the culprits would be found quickly.

The attack struck the heart of power in the Turkish capital, hitting an area where the headquarters of the army, the parliament and prime minister's offices are in close proximity.

Yeni Safak said the attack bore the hallmarks of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has in recent months stepped up a 30-year insurgency against the Turkish state after a ceasefire collapsed.

But it said that Necar was himself a member of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Turkey accuses of being a terror group that is the Syrian branch of the PKK, a link disputed by Washington.

Sozcu also carried the same claim, which has yet to be officially confirmed.

Turkey has for five consecutive days shelled targets of the PYD inside Syria, saying the military was responding to incoming fire.

The PKK has in the last months killed dozens of soldiers, often in roadside bombing attacks against military vehicles.

Updated Date: Feb 18, 2016 13:41 PM

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