At least five people were killed and 10 others were injured as a result of a car bomb that exploded in the Turkish capital of Ankara at around 1830 hrs local time. The blast occurred in the city centre outside a military barracks on Merasim Sk, which lies near parliament, government offices and the headquarters of the Turkish armed forces. There were reports that the bomb detonated as buses were arriving at a military lodging facility, indicating security personnel may have been the intended target.
Reports surrounding the situation continue to develop, but large numbers of first responders have been deployed to the scene. The immediate area around the site of the attack should be avoided and heightened security measures should be anticipated around the city centre, which houses a number of sensitive locations, including the prime minister’s office. Personnel in Ankara should anticipate delays as a result of possible checkpoints or other security measures enacted in response to the blast.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility following the attack but Turkey faces a threat from a number of active militant networks, including Kurdish insurgents and leftists, as well as from the Islamic State (IS) group. In January, a suicide bomber linked to IS killed 10 tourists in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district and in October a twin IS suicide attack killed 103 people near Ankara’s central railway. The earlier Ankara incident led to significant protests in the city, highlighting the potential for demonstrations in the coming days over the government's security response. PGI will continue to monitor the situation as it develops.