Mon, Oct 19, 2015 - Page 6 News List

Ankara honors bombing dead

PRE-DAWN RAIDS:Reports said that at least 50 people had been detained after police operations in the capital snared suspects who were all foreign nationals

AFP and AP,ANKARA and ISTANBUL, Turkey

A woman on Saturday in Ankara holds an image of one of the people killed by suicide bomb attacks in the Turkish capital on Oct. 10.

Photo: AP

Several thousands rallied on Saturday in towns around Turkey in honor of the 102 people killed in the double suicide bombing in Ankara on Oct. 10, while separately, Turkish authorities detained suspected Islamic State members.

The biggest demonstration was in Istanbul, where about 1,000 gathered to remember those killed in the deadliest attack in the country’s modern history, carrying pictures of the dead and anti-government signs saying: “We know the killer.”

“We have not forgotten those people who died for peace,” student Yigit Titiz, 26, told reporters, adding that ongoing clashes between Turkish troops and militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) would not bring peace.

At 10:04am — the exact time of the attack — hundreds of people gathered at the scene of the blast outside Ankara’s main railway station, laying flowers for the dead.

About 1,000 demonstrated in Ankara as well, media reports said.

The Turkish government said the Islamic State group is the prime suspect in the bombing, but has also refused to rule out the involvement of Kurdish or other militants, even though many of the dead were Kurdish.

Turkish media reports on Wednesday said the two bombers had been identified as Yunus Emre Alagoz, brother of the man who carried out a similar attack in Suruc in July that killed 34 people, and Omer Deniz Dundar who had twice been to Syria in recent times.

The attack has raised political tensions to new highs as Turkey prepares for a snap election on Nov. 1, with polarization within the country now greater than ever.

Pressure has piled on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with opposition figures blaming him for security lapses over the Ankara attack.

For almost three months, Turkey has been waging an offensive against PKK militants, who have responded with attacks of their own, killing more than 140 members of the security forces.

Separately, state-run Anadolu Agency yesterday said police conducted pre-dawn raids on 17 locations in Istanbul and detained about 50 people suspected of being linked to the Islamic State group.

The news agency said those detained were all foreign nationals and planned to travel to conflict zones in Syria and Iraq.

It did not provide information on their nationalities, but said they had arrived in Turkey recently and were being monitored.

Unconfirmed reports have said that the Ankara bombings were carried out by a Turkish cell of the Islamic State group.

Under pressure from its allies, Turkey has been tightening security along its 910km-long border with Syria to prevent militants crossing in and out of its neighbor.

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