Authorities said that 86 people and possibly more were killed on Saturday when two suicide bombers set their explosives off ruing a pro-Kurdish rally outside the main train station in Ankara the capital of Turkey.
The bombing comes just weeks ahead of elections and is the deadliest attack of its kind ever on Turkish soil.
Bodies covered with banners and flags including those from the Peoples’ Democratic Party or HDP, the pro-Kurdish opposition, lay scattered along the road amongst body parts and bloodstains.
Like other attacks of terror, the one at the train station in Ankara targets unity, brotherhood and the future, said Tayyip Erdogan the President of Turkey in a prepared statement that called for determination and solidarity.
Mehmet Muezzinoglu the health minister told a press conference that the explosion killed 86 people while another 186 were injured of which 28 were in intensive care. He warned the death toll could go higher.
Witnesses said two explosions took place only seconds apart at 10:00 a.m. as people were gathering to start a planned march protesting the conflict between Kurdish militant and security forces from Turkey in the country’s southeast.
No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing. However, the country has been on a heighten state of alert since July when a synchronized war on terror started, including air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria and the Kurdistan Workers Party that has bases in the northern part of Iraq.
The number of casualties exceeded events of a similar nature in two synagogues in 2003: the HSBC Bank in Istanbul and the British consulate were hit and 62 lives were lost.
The attacks on Saturday came as it was expected that the PKK militants were ready to announce a ceasefire, effectively returning a truce to the area that had collapsed last July.
The Turkish government already has dismissed the anticipated move calling in an election gambit to help bolster the HDP, whose success in the elections in June had helped erode the ruling majority of the AK party.