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Two Bombers Blow Themselves Up in Standoff with Turkish Police - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Two suicide bombers militants believed to be preparing a car bomb attack detonated themselves up after refusing to surrender to police during an operation in the outskirts of the capital Ankara Saturday, a senior official said. No one else was killed or hurt.

“Police called on them to surrender. They did not respond in a positive way. They blew themselves up before we could intervene,” Governor Erkan Topaca told reporters at the scene.

Topaca said police launched an operation to catch a man and a woman who were suspected of planning a suicide car bombing in Ankara. They were hiding inside a hut at a horse farm in the district of Haymana, just outside of the capital.

“The organization they are connected to is not clear yet but according to information we have received, it is highly likely that (the man) is linked to the PKK. The way the incident was carried out and planned points at the PKK,” he said.

Topaca said the pair would have carried out a suicide car bomb attack although their target was not known. The assailants had hung a Turkish flag on their car, in an apparent attempt to disguise themselves, he said.

Police seized two pieces of plastic explosives and 200 kg (440 pounds) of ammonium nitrate, the governor’s office said in a statement.

Ammonium nitrate is an ingredient in bomb-making.

The office said security forces launched an operation against the militants around 6 am (0300 GMT) at a stud farm some 30 km (19 miles) from the capital after a tip-off from Diyarbakir, the main city in the Kurdish heartland of southeast Turkey.

An identity card found at the scene, believed to belong to one of the would-be bombers, was of a man from the southeastern province of Bingol. A third individual was also being sought, the governor said.

The PKK has fought a three-decade insurgency, focused on the southeast, in which more than 40,000 people have been killed. It is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

A two-year-old ceasefire between the group and the Turkish state collapsed in July last year, triggering renewed clashes and bomb attacks.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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