Istanbul CNN —
At least one person was killed and two others injured in a bomb attack outside the Turkish Interior Ministry building in Ankara on Sunday.
The ministry said in a statement on Sunday that two attackers murdered a civilian and stole his vehicle ahead of the opening of parliament in the country’s capital. Two police officers reportedly suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The attackers arrived at the entrance to the building at around 9:30 a.m. local time (Yerlikaya) in a light commercial vehicle. One attacker blew himself up and the other was “neutralized.”
At the crime scene, investigators found four different types of weapons, three hand grenades, a rocket launcher and C-4 explosives.
The ministry confirmed that at least one of the two attackers is a member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, known as the PKK. The second attacker has yet to be identified.
The PKK, a Kurdish militant group designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and Europe, had earlier issued a statement claiming responsibility for the bomb, pro-PKK news group Firat News Agency reported. The group said the attack was “carried out as planned and without obstacles.”
Just hours after the deadly explosion, Turkey destroyed twenty PKK targets in northern Iraq, according to a statement from the country’s defense ministry.
Turkish warplanes carried out airstrikes in the Metina, Hakurk, Kandil and Gara regions at 9 p.m. local time, destroying caves, bunkers, shelters and warehouses used by the PKK, the Defense Ministry wrote.
After the explosion on Sunday, members of Turkish police special units secured an area.
According to the Firat news agency, a PKK unit called the “Brigade of the Immortals” specifically targeted the opening of the parliament and ministry building, saying it was considered a “massacre and torture center.”
“Every person should know that with just a small change in their timing, the members of the Immortal Brigade could have achieved a completely different result if they had wanted to,” the statement attributed to the PKK said.
In the statement, the PKK’s People’s Defense Center headquarters justified the attack by citing “disregard for human rights, the inhumane practice and policy of isolation in Turkish and Kurdish prisons, the use of chemical weapons against KPP guerrilla forces and ecocide.” in Kurdistan and the oppression of the Kurdish people.”
Security footage of the incident obtained by Reuters shows a vehicle slowing down on the street near the building’s front gate.
The vehicle comes to a stop, then the driver’s door slowly opens. One person gets out while a second person appears on the other side of the car. The second person approaches the entrance in a tactical stance, although it is unclear whether the attacker is holding a firearm, while the first person hides behind the car. The attacker quickly rushes past what looks like a watchtower. Then there is a big explosion.
Then, through the smoke, the outline of what appears to be the first attacker moves towards the gate before the 40-second clip ends.
The apparent watchtower in front of the building’s entrance was slightly damaged by the explosion. Police have since cordoned off the area, and video from the scene from CNN affiliate CNN Turk appeared to show a bomb squad searching the area for more suspicious packages.
Osmancan Gurdogan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Police officers inspect the area after an explosion near the Turkish parliament and interior ministry in Ankara on Sunday.
A bomb found on the body of the neutralized terrorist was detonated in a controlled explosion after the attack, one of at least two heard on television footage.
Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc said an investigation had been launched into the incident.
“These attacks will in no way hinder Turkey’s fight against terrorism,” Tunc said on X. “Our fight against terrorism will continue even more resolutely.”
The bombing occurred just hours before lawmakers were due to return to work at 2 p.m. after the summer break
In his address to lawmakers, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised that after Sunday’s attack, Turkey would continue its fight against terrorism “until the last terrorist is eliminated at home and abroad.”
“The vile people who are targeting the peace and security of our citizens have not achieved their goal and never will,” he said.
Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images
The attackers struck hours before lawmakers were scheduled to return to work after the summer recess.
The PKK has been waging an insurgency against Ankara for four decades.
In recent years, Turkey has conducted a steady series of operations against the group domestically, as well as cross-border operations in Syria, where a Kurdish group linked to the PKK controls large areas.
In November 2022, Ankara blamed the PKK for a bomb attack on a central pedestrian street in Istanbul that killed six people and injured dozens.
Terrorist attacks in Turkey were tragically common in the mid-to-late 2010s, as insecurity from war-torn Syria spread northward beyond the two countries’ shared border.
In 2016, there were two attacks by Kurdish attackers in Ankara, one against military personnel on a bus and the other at a bus stop.
Two bomb attacks in 2015 at a peace rally near the capital’s main train station killed nearly 100 people.
Erdogan said in his speech to parliament that Sunday’s attack marked the “latest upsurge of terrorism” in the country.