US Embassy Blast in Ankara Caused by Suicide Bomber
The explosion in front of the US Embassy in the Turkish capital Ankara on Friday has been caused by a suicide bomber, according to witness reports.
The bomber's device went off as he was going though an X-ray machine at a security gatehouse, Sky News reported. The embassy is on red alert and staff have gone into shelters, it added.
Two guards are reported killed while several other people were also hurt in the attack in the city of Ankara.
Turkish police cordoned off the area following the explosion, which sent smoke and debris flying into the street.
TV footage showed a door blown out and masonry from the wall around it scattered, although there did not appear to be any more significant structural damage. Damage can be seen at a side entrance of the embassy
Journalist Ilnur Cevik told Sky News: "There was a huge bang which really shook everywhere."
He was in his car about 400 meters away from the US embassy when the blast happened.
There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, but Kurdish rebels and Islamic militants are active in Turkey.
Kurdish rebels, who are fighting for autonomy in the Kurdish-dominated southeast, have dramatically stepped up attacks in Turkey over the last year.
Also, homegrown Islamic militants tied to al Qaeda have carried out suicide bombings in Istanbul, killing 58, in 2003.
The targets were the British consulate, a British bank and two synagogues.
In 2008, an assault blamed on al Qaeda-affiliated militants outside the US Consulate in Istanbul left three attackers and three policemen dead.
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