Toll Rises to 128 Killed in Suicide Bombings at Turkish Peace Rally

Police Attack Mourners Near Site of Saturday Blasts

The death toll in a pair of suicide bombings targeting a peace rally in the Turkish capital of Ankara has risen to 128, with another 160 people still hospitalized in the wake of the attacks. 65 of those wounded are still in intensive car after two suicide bombers detonated in the crowd.

The rally was organized by the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), calling for an end to the decades-long Turkish war against the separatist PKK. Some HDP leaders accused supporters of the pro-war ruling party of being behind the attack, and there’s been no claim of responsibility from anyone.

Adding to the sense of anger in the streets, police attacked a group of mourners who arrived at the site after the bombing, accusing them of “chanting anti-government slogans.” Thousands eventually turned out, with the police trying to chase them off the streets.

The HDP is considered a “pro-minority” party in Turkish politics, and has dominated the polls in the Kurdish southeast. Their strong showing was a big part of why this year’s national election ended without anyone winning a clear majority, and the party has faced growing condemnation from the nationalist parties, with the ruling AKP accusing them of being de-facto part of the PKK because of their support in the Kurdish regions. The next election is scheduled for November.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.