A large explosion in the Turkish capital, Ankara, has killed at least 18 people, Turkish officials have said.

A vehicle full of explosives was detonated as military buses were passing by, according to the Ankara governor’s office.

More than 40 people were injured in the blast, which happened in an area close to parliament and Turkey’s military headquarters.

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag called it an “act of terrorism”.

Large plumes of smoke were seen rising from the area and witnesses said the blast was heard all over the city.

Ambulances and fire engines were sent to the scene.

 

Ambulance arrives after an explosion in AnkaraAn ambulance arrives at the scene of explosion in the Turkish capital
Emergency services at the scene following explosion in AnkaraLarge plumes of smoke were seen rising from the scene of the blast

Turkey’s Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has cancelled a trip to Brussels.

Turkey has been hit by a serious of attacks recently, and there have been increasing concerns that the country could be targeted by another big attack, the BBC’s Selin Girit in Istanbul reports.

It is not clear who was behind the latest violence; security sources blamed both so-called Islamic State (IS) and militants from the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Reuters reported.


Recent attacks in Turkey

  • January 2016: At least 10 people, mostly German tourists, are killed in a suspected IS suicide bombing in Istanbul
  • October 2015: More than a hundred people are killed in a double-suicide bombing at a Kurdish peace rally in Ankara
  • July 2015: In the predominantly Kurdish town of Suruc, near the Syrian border, over 30 people are killed in a suicide bombing, again blamed on IS