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Ankara Bombing: 37 Dead, Facebook Turns on Safety Check Feature


Turkey has carried out airstrikes against 18 posts of the Kurdish Workers’ Party in northern Iraq, including the Qandil mountains post where the group’s leadership is based, after the Ankara bombing that killed 37. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that there were “strong indications” that the Kurdish Workers’ Party is behind Sunday’s suicide bombing.

“There are very serious, almost-certain indications that point to the separatist terror organization,” the Washington Post quoted Davutoglu as saying.

However, there was no immediate claim of the blasts.

Meanwhile, Facebook is being criticized for not allowing users to change their profile images to show support for the victims of the Ankara blast, the Independent reported. However, this feature was introduced in the aftermath of the Paris attacks. Criticisms are being drawn on the international response that appeared to attach greater importance to attacks in countries like France and the UK over Turkey. However, the social networking company has turned on its safety check feature, after being criticised for not giving tragedies the equal importance for long. The safety check feature allows users to check on family or friends in the area and also mark oneself safe.

Davutoglu said that the authorities have arrested 11 people having a direct connection with the Ankara bombing that took place near a line of bus stops. He said that DNA tests are being carried out to identify the suicide bomber and another body that is believed to be of a person who assisted the bomber.

According to a senior government official, the bomber was a woman.

The NBC News reported that the police raided the northern city of Adana and arrested 38 suspected PKK rebels. Another fifteen suspected Kurdish were detained in Istanbul.

According to Turkey’s Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu, three more people died as a result of wounds sustained from the Sunday’s attacks. Of the 125 people wounded in the blast, 75 are still in the hospital with 15 of them in a serious condition.

The Sunday’s bombing was the second such attacks in recent times and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to bring the “terrorists to knees.” Turkey along with the US and the European Union have recognised PKK as a terrorist organisation.

The weekend’s bombing has further complicated Turkey’s position in the region in which it is fighting a number of enemies. These include the ISIS, the Kurds in Syria and Iraq and the Syrian governments, after accepting about 2.7 million refugees from the conflict zones. The PKK is a Kurdish group which has been fighting for three decades to secure autonomy in southeastern Turkey.


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