Islamic State is prime suspect in Turkey bombing: PM Davutoglu

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 12, 2015 4:49 AM

By Daren Butler

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Islamic State is the focus of investigations into a twin suicide bombing that killed at least 97 people in the Turkish capital Ankara and investigators are close to identifying one of the suspects, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday.

Speaking on Turkish broadcaster NTV in a live interview, Davutoglu said Saturday's attack was an attempt to influence the outcome of a parliamentary election on Nov. 1 and that necessary steps would be taken if security failures were found to have contributed to the bombing.

"It was definitely a suicide bombing. DNA tests are being conducted. It was determined how the suicide bombers got there. We're close to a name, which points to one group," he said of the worst attack in Turkey of its kind.

Two senior security sources told Reuters on Sunday that initial signs suggested Islamic State was behind the attack, and that it bore striking similarity to a July suicide bombing in Suruc near the Syrian border, also blamed on the radical Islamists.

The two explosions happened seconds apart on Saturday as hundreds gathered for a march organized by pro-Kurdish activists and civic groups to protest over a conflict between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants in the southeast.

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The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which said it was the target of the attack, has put the death toll at 128 and said it had identified all but eight of those bodies. Davutoglu's office has said 97 people were killed.

(Additional reporting by Gulsen Solaker and Orhan Coskun in Ankara; Writing by Nick Tattersall)