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Erdogan orders state probe into twin suicide bomb attacks

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 00:57

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan commissions the state supervisory council to carry out a comprehensive probe over the suicide bombing that killed 97 people in the capital Ankara. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday (October 13) that he has ordered the state supervisory council to carry out a special probe into a double suicide bombing that killed 97 people in the capital Ankara. Two bombs exploded seconds apart on Saturday (October 10), targeting a rally of pro-Kurdish activists and civic groups near Ankara's main train station, three weeks ahead of a general election. It was the worst attack of its kind in Turkish history, triggering protests against what critics of President Tayyip Erdogan and the government see as a major intelligence failure. "I strongly condemn the terrorist attack against Turkey's unity, solidarity, stability and goals. The world and the Turkish people should know the truth: This attack was carried out against Turkey," Erdogan told a news conference in Ankara in his first public comments since the attack. "This attack is being investigated just like the others, the connections of those who carried out this attack will be found and the suspects will be brought to justice. The government is taking the necessary steps. As the president, I have commissioned a state supervisory council (for a comprehensive probe)," he added. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday (October 12) that Islamic State fighters are the prime suspect. Officials in Ankara said they were focusing on the so-called "Adiyaman cell" - a group of Turks, some of whom had travelled to Syria, and who were thought also to have been behind a suicide bombing in July in the town of Suruc near the Syrian border, which killed 34 people. The cell is also believed to have been involved in the bombing of a pro-Kurdish opposition rally in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir on the eve of Turkey's last election in June. The possibility that a group known to the authorities carried out Saturday's attack has heaped pressure on the government, already under fire from opponents for failing to give more transparent information on its investigations into the Diyarbakir and Suruc attacks. Details of the investigations into the Diyarbakir and Suruc bombings have never been made public and are subject to reporting restrictions under Turkish law. Police and security officials could not immediately be reached for comment. Turkey is vulnerable to infiltration by Islamic State, which holds swathes of Syrian land abutting Turkey where some two million refugees live. But there has been no word from the group -- usually swift to publicly claim responsibility for any attack it conducts -- over the Ankara, Diyarbakir or Suruc bombings. The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which says it was the target of the Ankara bombings, has said Erdogan and the government have blood on their hands. Government officials reject any suggestion that they are failing to fully investigate any of the attacks. They say forensic evidence has been gathered, a list of suspects identified and that announcements will be made quickly. But critics say Turkey has been slow to wake up to the home-grown threat it faces from Islamic State. Thousands of foreign fighters, including Turks, crossed the border into Syria to join the ranks of the radical group, a flow Turkey has only recently brought under control. The Radikal newspaper said on Tuesday police had identified 21 suspected Islamic State militants, six of them women, believed to be preparing an attack in Turkey. It said 18 of them were from Adiyaman.

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Erdogan orders state probe into twin suicide bomb attacks

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 00:57