Car bomb plotters blow themselves up near Ankara

Two terrorists thought to have been planning a car bomb attack in capital Ankara blew themselves up when confronted by police on Saturday.

The pair — said to be linked to the PKK — died as police converged on a horse farm in Haymana, around 7 kilometers (4 miles) south of the city, at around 6.00 a.m. local time (0300GMT).

No one else was injured during the operation.

The operation was launched following a tip from authorities in Diyarbakir, southeast Turkey, that an attack was planned on Ankara. Ankara Governor Ercan Topaca identified one of the terrorists as a man named Harun Arslan, from Bingol province in east Turkey, and said the other was a woman who had not been identified.

A security official speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media said an identification document found with the woman’s remains indicated her name was Mahide Ates. However, the official warned the ID could be fake.

“The planning of the incident indicates the PKK,” Topaca said. “Information came from a citizen in Diyarbakir. These terrorists were wanted by police.” He added that a third suspect was being sought.

“They were going to use a car that was bought two days ago. They even placed a flag of Turkey on the car.”

Topaca said the pair refused to listen to police calls to surrender and detonated their explosives. The security official said around 200 kilograms of ammonium nitrate was used in the blast.

Ankara has been targeted by PKK car bombs twice in the past year, resulting in nearly 70 deaths.

In addition, more than a 100 died when Daesh-linked suicide bombers targeted a peace rally in the capital in October last year. The official suggested a commemoration ceremony due to be held on Monday to mark the first anniversary of the attack could have been a target for the car bomb.

The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — resumed its 30-year armed campaign in July last year and has martyred more than 600 security forces personnel and claimed lives of many civilians including women and children since then. Around 7,000 terrorists have been killed.