Turkish health minister increases Ankara blast toll to 34 dead, 125 injured
Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu has increased the death toll in the car bomb attack in Ankara’s central Kizalay neighborhood to 34 dead and 125 injured, APA reports quoting «Anadolu”.
In remarks made to the media following a security meeting chaired by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at the Prime Ministry Office in Ankara Sunday, Muezzinoglu said: “34 died, 30 at the blast scene and four at the hospitals”.
He also said that at least one or two of the dead bodies recovered from the blast site are believed to be of the assailants who carried out the attack using bomb-laden vehicle.
“There are a total of 125 patients under treatment at hospitals; 19 of them remain in serious conditions. We have seven patients in surgery. Most other patients may be released from the hospital this (Sunday) night, when their treatment gets completed,” the minister said.
Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala, who also attended the security meeting, said: “The terror attack was carried out by a moving bomb-laden vehicle, which targeted civilian citizens waiting at the bus stop”.
Ankara Governor’s Office said in a statement earlier that a car exploded near a bus stop in Ankara’s central Kizilay neighborhood at 6.45 p.m. local time (1645 GMT) Sunday evening.
After the blast, several fire-fighting trucks and ambulances were seen rushing towards the scene. Pedestrians and vehicles were also not allowed into Kizilay Square, while a police helicopter also hovered above. Some vehicles have also been reportedly damaged in the incident.
Security forces also evacuated the area to thwart the possibility of a second blast in the same area.
Ankara Governor Mehmet Kiliclar also surveyed the blast area.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Interior Minister Efkan Ala over the phone, who briefed him about the incident.
Turkish Ministry of Health also announced there is no need for blood donations in Ankara hospitals at the moment.