Turkish police foiled a bomb attack in Ankara on Tuesday after finding a van packed with explosives near a multi-storeyed car park, the capital’s governor said.
“A possible disaster was prevented due to the police efforts,” Governor Kemal Onal told reporters. “It is too early to say who was behind this but the bomb was big and I do not want to think about what might have happened if it had gone off,” Onal added.
Blasts are not uncommon in Turkey, where Kurdish separatists, ultra-leftists and Islamist militants have all carried out attacks.
Onal noted September 11 and 12 were particularly sensitive days. The world commemorates the sixth anniversary of the Al-Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington on Tuesday and Turkey marks the anniversary of its 1980 military coup on Wednesday.
Earlier, shops and offices in the central Kurtulus district of Ankara were quickly evacuated after a suspicious vehicle discovered there triggered a bomb alert.
In 2003, more than 60 people were killed in al Qaeda-backed suicide bomb attacks on British and Jewish targets.
In May, a suicide attack on a central Ankara shopping centre killed at least six people. Turkish authorities blamed Kurdish guerrillas for that attack, though they denied involvement.