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Turkey says Ankara bomber linked to Syrian Kurds

At least 37 people were killed in the suicide car bombing [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 16 March, 2016

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The female suicide bomber who killed at least 37 people in Ankara on Sunday had links to Syrian Kurds, the Turkish interior ministry said on Tuesday.

A female suicide car bomber who killed at least 37 people in Ankara had links to Syrian Kurdish rebels, Turkey's interior ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The ministry, which identified the bomber as Seher Cagla Demir, born in 1992, said she had been affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) since 2013 and then "crossed into Syria and received terror training in the YPG terrorist organisation".

The People's Protection Units or YPG is a Syrian Kurdish militia that Ankara regards as a terror outfit with links to the PKK.

Nobody has claimed the attack yet that struck the heart of the capital but the Turkish government said "almost certain" evidence pointed to Kurdish rebels.

The interior ministry said a thorough investigation was under way and offered condolences to relatives of civilians who lost their lives in the attack carried out by the "separatist terrorist organisation."

Sunday's bombing is the second major blast in Ankara in less than a month.

In February, a car bombing targeted military personnel in a nearby area of Ankara, killing 29 people.

That was claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), which has ties to the PKK, in revenge for Turkish military operations in the Kurdish majority southeast of the country.

The government described that attack as a joint operation of the PKK in cooperation with the YPG.

Turkish authorities have had a war of words with the United States over the latter's support for the YPG inside Syria.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month accused the US of creating a "pool of blood" by not recognising the YPG as a terrorist group.

"Hey America! How many times have we had to tell you?" Erdogan said in a fiery address. "Are you together with us or are you with the PYD and YPG terror groups?"

Agencies contributed to this report

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