At least 30 people have been killed and more than 100 more wounded in a terrorist attack on a peace rally in the centre of the Turkish capital, Ankara.
Twin explosions outside the city’s main train station appeared to be targeting hundreds of people who had gathered to take part in a protest march – organised by the pro-Kurdish HDP party – against violence between authorities and the Kurdish separatist group, the PKK.
A video shared on social media shows the moment of the first explosion, as people holding hands and singing are forced to dive for cover after a massive blast behind them.
— olaylara karıştım. (@laluttee) October 10, 2015
Turkish government officials have since said the explosion was a terrorist attack and are investigating the claim that a suicide bomber was responsible.
The country’s interior ministry confirmed 30 people were killed in the blasts and 126 were wounded.
Reuters report that, in the aftermath of the explosions, there were at least 20 bodies covered by flags, with bloodstains and body parts scattered across the road.
bodies covered with HDP flags in Ankara explosion pic.twitter.com/Sy8zI3vGiD
— Ece Toksabay (@ecetoksabay) October 10, 2015
Witnesses said the blasts happened seconds apart shortly after 10am and were so powerful they rocked nearby high-rise buildings.
Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of the HDP party, added:
We are witnessing a massacre here. A cruel and barbarian attack was carried out. The death toll is high.
The explosion came three weeks ahead of a parliamentary election amid growing security concerns in the region. A HDP rally in the city of Diyarbakir was bombed in June, ahead of general elections.