Turkish Police officials said Friday that a suicide bomber detonated a bomb inside the security checkpoint at the entrance of the US embassy in Ankara, killing one security guard and one of the embassy's Turkish staff. Two other people were moderately to seriously hurt.
Security source said security measures have been taken, especially at the German and French embassies, following today's blast.
A witness said he heard a loud explosion in the area as smoke rose from a side entrance to the US embassy after the explosion that damaged the doorway and sent debris flying into the street.
Turkish TV footage showed a door blown out and masonry from the wall around the embassy scattered in front of the entrance, although there did not appear to be any more significant structural damage.
Turkish commercial station NTV reported all embassy workers took shelter after the attack, adding part of Paris Avenue has been shut to traffic.
The US Embassy is not answering any phone calls made by the press or others after Friday's blast.
Moreover, the US consulate in Istanbul warned its citizens against visiting its missions in Turkey until further notice.
There was no immediate indication of who may be responsible for the blast, but media outlets estimated that it may be the Kurdish PKK or al-Qaida. However, some media reports accuse the Syrian regime, indicating that the blast comes a week after NATO declared a battery of US-made Patriot missiles went operational on Turkey's border with Syria.
Shortly before the British Consulate-General in Istanbul said the explosion at the US embassy was a suspected terrorist attack without elaborating.
US Ambassador Francis Ricciardone said, “We are very sad of course that we lost one of our Turkish guards at the gate.” He also thanked the Turkish authorities for their prompt response and stressed that the US would continue to work with Turkey to combat terrorism.
Turkish TV said that police had examined security cameras around the US embassy and had identified two people who could have been the suicide bomber.
Turkish leftist group the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front claimed responsibility for the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, media reports said.
Up to this moment, the information provided by Turkish officials regarding the explosion is very brief. However, some Turkish sources confirm that the explosion bears the imprint of al-Qaida more than any other terrorist organization.
In Syria there are a large number of Shiite Muslims who are supporters to the Syrian regime, Hezbollah and of course Iran. Therefore, they might be responsible for this bombing.
I think that Turkey will witness, in the next phase, several disorders because of the failure of its negotiations with the Kurds. In addition to Turkey's determination to use violence against them, as well as many observers who believe that the presence of NATO troops in Turkey with Patriot missiles is a preparation for a war to be carried against Iran and not as Turkey claims that they are deployed to protect Turkish territories against Syrian attacks.