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28 killed in Ankara car bomb blast

Published 17/02/2016

Firefighters try to extinguish flames following an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara on February 17, 2016. / AFP / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
Firefighters try to extinguish flames following an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara on February 17, 2016. / AFP / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

Turkey's president has condemned a car bomb attack in the capital which killed at least 28 people, saying it exceeds all "moral and humane boundaries".

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country is determined to fight those who carried out the attack in Ankara as well as the "forces" behind the assailants.

The attack during rush hour on Wednesday targeted vehicles carrying military personnel that had stopped at traffic lights. At least 28 people were killed and another 61 wounded.

Deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus confirmed the explosion was caused by a car bomb. He said seven prosecutors have been assigned to investigate the attack, which he described as "well-planned".

Mr Erdogan has cancelled a planned visit on Thursday to Azerbaijan following the blast. Instead he convened a security meeting with prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

No group has yet claimed responsibility, but Mr Kurtulmus pledged authorities would find those behind the attack.

Kurdish rebels, the Islamic State (IS) group and a leftist extremist group have carried out attacks in the country recently.

The attack comes at a tense time when the Turkish government is facing an array of challenges.

A fragile peace process with the Kurdish rebels collapsed in the summer.

Security forces have been engaged in large-scale operations against Kurdish militants in the south-east since December, imposing controversial curfews in flashpoint areas, and the fighting has displaced tens of thousands of civilians.

Turkish army service busses burn after an explosion on February 17, 2016 in Ankara, Turkey. 21 people are believed to have been killed and at least 61 are said to be wounded according to the city's governor Mehmet Kiliclar in what appeared to have been a car bomb attack on a vehicle carrying military personnel in the Turkish capital. (Photo by Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images)
Turkish army service busses burn after an explosion on February 17, 2016 in Ankara, Turkey. 21 people are believed to have been killed and at least 61 are said to be wounded according to the city's governor Mehmet Kiliclar in what appeared to have been a car bomb attack on a vehicle carrying military personnel in the Turkish capital. (Photo by Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 17: People carry a wounded man as Turkish army service busses burn after an explosion on February 17, 2016 in Ankara, Turkey. 21 people are believed to have been killed and at least 61 are said to be wounded according to the city's governor Mehmet Kiliclar in what appeared to have been a car bomb attack on a vehicle carrying military personnel in the Turkish capital. (Photo by Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 17: Turkish army service busses burn after an explosion on February 17, 2016 in Ankara, Turkey. 21 people are believed to have been killed and at least 61 are said to be wounded according to the city's governor Mehmet Kiliclar in what appeared to have been a car bomb attack on a vehicle carrying military personnel in the Turkish capital. (Photo by Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 17: A wounded man is carried to an ambulance after an explosion on February 17, 2016 in Ankara, Turkey. 21 people are believed to have been killed and at least 61 are said to be wounded according to the city's governor Mehmet Kiliclar in what appeared to have been a car bomb attack on a vehicle carrying military personnel in the Turkish capital. (Photo by Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images)
A police officer clears the area of an explosion in Ankara, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016, after assailants exploded a car bomb near vehicles carrying military personnel in the Turkish capital, killing several people and injuring scores of others, officials said. The explosion occurred during evening rush hour in the heart of city, in an area close to where military headquarters and the parliament are located. (Mustafa Kirazli/Cihan News Agency via AP) TURKEY OUT
Firefighters work at a scene of fire from an explosion in Ankara, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. A large explosion, believed to have been caused by a bomb, injured several people in the Turkish capital on Wednesday, according to media reports. Private NTV said the explosion occurred during rush hour in an area close to where military headquarters are located as a bus carrying military personnel was passing by. Several cars caught fire, the report said. Ambulances were seen rushing toward the scene. The explosion caused a large fire and dark smoke could be seen billowing from a distance. (IHA via AP) TURKEY OUT
ANKARA, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 17: Turkish army service busses burn after an explosion on February 17, 2016 in Ankara, Turkey. 21 people are believed to have been killed and at least 61 are said to be wounded according to the city's governor Mehmet Kiliclar in what appeared to have been a car bomb attack on a vehicle carrying military personnel in the Turkish capital. (Photo by Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images)
TURKEY OUT Emergency workers help an injured person on the ground near the site of an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara on February 17, 2016. At least 18 people were killed and 45 wounded by a car bomb targeting the military in the heart of the Turkish capital Ankara on February 17, the city's governor said. The bloodshed came on the heels of a string of attacks in Turkey, blamed on jihadists but also on Kurdish rebels. The bomb aimed at a convoy of military service vehicles, Ankara governor Mehmet Kiliclar said, quoted by the CNN-Turk and NTV channels. / AFP / CIHAN NEWS AGENCY / CIHANCIHAN/AFP/Getty Images
ANKARA, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 17: Smoke billows from the blast site as Turkish army service busses burn after an explosion on February 17, 2016 in Ankara, Turkey. 21 people are believed to have been killed and at least 61 are said to be wounded according to the city's governor Mehmet Kiliclar in what appeared to have been a car bomb attack on a vehicle carrying military personnel in the Turkish capital. (Photo by Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 17: Ambulances pass the blast site after an explosion hit the Turkish army's service busses in Ankara, February 17, 2016 Turkey. 21 people are believed to have been killed and at least 61 wounded according to Turkish Minister of Health Mehmet Muezzinoglu in an explosion in the Turkish capital Ankara in what appeared to have been a car bomb attack on a vehicle carrying military personnel. (Photo by Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 17: Turkish army service busses burn after an explosion on February 17, 2016 in Ankara, Turkey. 21 people are believed to have been killed and at least 61 are said to be wounded according to the city's governor Mehmet Kiliclar in what appeared to have been a car bomb attack on a vehicle carrying military personnel in the Turkish capital. (Photo by Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 17: Turkish army service busses burn after an explosion on February 17, 2016 in Ankara, Turkey. 21 people are believed to have been killed and at least 61 are said to be wounded according to the city's governor Mehmet Kiliclar in what appeared to have been a car bomb attack on a vehicle carrying military personnel in the Turkish capital. (Photo by Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 17: Turkish army service busses burn after an explosion on February 17, 2016 in Ankara, Turkey. 21 people were killed and at least 61 are said to be wounded according to the city's governor Mehmet Kiliclar in what appeared to have been a car bomb attack on a vehicle carrying military personnel in the Turkish capital. (Photo by Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 17: Turkish police secure the blast site after an explosion on February 17, 2016 in Ankara, Turkey. 21 people are believed to have been killed and at least 61 are said to be wounded according to the city's governor Mehmet Kiliclar in what appeared to have been a car bomb attack on a vehicle carrying military personnel in the Turkish capital. (Photo by Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 17: Turkish army service busses burn after an explosion on February 17, 2016 in Ankara, Turkey. 21 people are believed to have been killed and at least 61 are said to be wounded according to the city's governor Mehmet Kiliclar in what appeared to have been a car bomb attack on a vehicle carrying military personnel in the Turkish capital. (Photo by Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images)
TURKEY OUT Smokes rises above buildings following an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara on February 17, 2016. At least five people were killed and 10 people were wounded in a car bombing in the Turkish capital Ankara on February 17, the city's governor said. The attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles, Ankara governor Mehmet Kiliclar said, quoted by the CNN-Turk and NTV channels. / AFP / IHLAS NEWS AGENCY / STRINGER / Turkey OUTSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
TURKEY OUT A police officer gestures as he walks at the site of an explosion while firefighters try to extinguish flames after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara on February 17, 2016. At least 18 people were killed and 45 wounded by a car bomb targeting the military in the heart of the Turkish capital Ankara on February 17, the city's governor said. The bloodshed came on the heels of a string of attacks in Turkey, blamed on jihadists but also on Kurdish rebels. The bomb aimed at a convoy of military service vehicles, Ankara governor Mehmet Kiliclar said, quoted by the CNN-Turk and NTV channels. / AFP / CIHAN NEWS AGENCY / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
ANKARA, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 17: Turkish army busses burn after an explosion on February 17, 2016 in Ankara, Turkey. According to Ankara Governor Mehmet Kiliclar, at least 18 people have been killed and 45 injured in an explosion in the Turkish capital of Ankara in what appeared to have been a car bomb attack on a vehicle carrying military personnel. (Photo by Erhan Ortac/Getty Images)
Firefighters work at a scene of fire from an explosion in Ankara, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. A large explosion, believed to have been caused by a bomb, injured several people in the Turkish capital on Wednesday, according to media reports. (IHA via AP) TURKEY OUT
A man reacts next to policemen near the site of an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara on February 17, 2016. At least five people were killed and 10 people were wounded in a car bombing in the Turkish capital Ankara on February 17, the city's governor said. The attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles, Ankara governor Mehmet Kiliclar said, quoted by the CNN-Turk and NTV channels. / AFP / EROL UCEMEROL UCEM/AFP/Getty Images
People react near the site of an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara on February 17, 2016. At least five people were killed and 10 people were wounded in a car bombing in the Turkish capital Ankara on February 17, the city's governor said. The attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles, Ankara governor Mehmet Kiliclar said, quoted by the CNN-Turk and NTV channels. / AFP / EROL UCEMEROL UCEM/AFP/Getty Images
An injured person is loaded into an ambulance car following an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara on February 17, 2016. At least five people were killed and 10 people were wounded in a car bombing in the Turkish capital Ankara on February 17, the city's governor said. The attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles, Ankara governor Mehmet Kiliclar said, quoted by the CNN-Turk and NTV channels. / AFP / STRSTR/AFP/Getty Images
Firefighters try to extinguish flames following an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara on February 17, 2016. At least five people were killed and 10 people were wounded in a car bombing in the Turkish capital Ankara on February 17, the city's governor said. The attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles, Ankara governor Mehmet Kiliclar said, quoted by the CNN-Turk and NTV channels. / AFP / EROL UCEMEROL UCEM/AFP/Getty Images
Firefighters try to extinguish flames following an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara on February 17, 2016. At least five people were killed and 10 people were wounded in a car bombing in the Turkish capital Ankara on February 17, the city's governor said. The attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles, Ankara governor Mehmet Kiliclar said, quoted by the CNN-Turk and NTV channels. / AFP / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
ANKARA, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 17: A firefighter tries to put out a fire as Turkish army busses burn after an explosion on February 17, 2016 in Ankara, Turkey. At least five people have been killed and 10 injured in an explosion in the Turkish capital of Ankara in what appeared to have been a car bomb attack on a vehicle carrying military personnel. (Photo by Erhan Ortac/Getty Images)
An injured person is loaded into an ambulance car following an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara on February 17, 2016. At least five people were killed and 10 people were wounded in a car bombing in the Turkish capital Ankara on February 17, the city's governor said. The attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles, Ankara governor Mehmet Kiliclar said, quoted by the CNN-Turk and NTV channels. / AFP / STRSTR/AFP/Getty Images
TURKEY OUT People react near the site of an explosion after a car bomb targeted Turkish military in Ankara on February 17, 2016. At least five people were killed and 10 people were wounded in a car bombing in the Turkish capital Ankara on February 17, the city's governor said. The attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles, Ankara governor Mehmet Kiliclar said, quoted by the CNN-Turk and NTV channels. / AFP / IHLAS NEWS AGENCY / STRINGER / Turkey OUTSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
TURKEY OUT Firefighters try to extinguish flames following an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara on February 17, 2016. At least five people were killed and 10 people were wounded in a car bombing in the Turkish capital Ankara on February 17, the city's governor said. The attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles, Ankara governor Mehmet Kiliclar said, quoted by the CNN-Turk and NTV channels. / AFP / IHLAS NEWS AGENCY / STRINGER / Turkey OUTSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
ANKARA, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 17: A firefighter tries to put out a fire as Turkish army busses burn after an explosion on February 17, 2016 in Ankara, Turkey. At least five people have been killed and 10 injured in an explosion in the Turkish capital of Ankara in what appeared to have been a car bomb attack on a vehicle carrying military personnel. (Photo by Erhan Ortac/Getty Images)
An injured person receives medical treatment by rescue workers following an explosion after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara on February 17, 2016. At least five people were killed and 10 people were wounded in a car bombing in the Turkish capital Ankara on February 17, the city's governor said. The attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles, Ankara governor Mehmet Kiliclar said, quoted by the CNN-Turk and NTV channels. / AFP / ADEM ALTANADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images
ANKARA, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 17: A firefighter tries to put out a fire as Turkish army busses burn after an explosion on February 17, 2016 in Ankara, Turkey. At least five people have been killed and 10 injured in an explosion in the Turkish capital of Ankara in what appeared to have been a car bomb attack on a vehicle carrying military personnel. (Photo by Erhan Ortac/Getty Images)

Turkey has also been helping efforts led by the US to combat IS in neighbouring Syria and has faced several deadly bombings in the last year that were blamed on IS.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sharply condemned the attack, saying she was horrified by it and that her thoughts were with the families of the victims and the injured.

In a statement, she said: "I'm telling the Turkish people: we as Germans are sharing your pain."

She added: "In the battle against those responsible for these inhuman acts we are on the side of Turkey."

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