Explosion Near U.S. Embassy in Ankara

U.S. officials have said that a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, the capital of Turkey. One security guard was killed in the explosion. The U.S. Ambassador in Turkey was quoted by news agencies as saying the guard who died in the bomb attack was from Turkey, but it was not confirmed. United States embassies are for the most part guarded by both local and American security personnel.

A journalist reported seeing just one body in front of a side entrance to the embassy. It appears the bomb exploded inside the checkpoint for security at the embassy entrance. News agencies said witnesses saw the bomber approach the embassy and enter the security gate, yet it was not clear whether the bomber was inside the building prior to detonating the explosives.

The U.S. Embassy’s switchboard is in Istanbul and an operator there said the staff at the embassy took cover following the bomb explosion, explaining why the phones were not being answered at the embassy in Ankara.

The embassy for the U.S. is in the middle of Ankara. Turkish television broadcast video and photos that showed substantial damage to one of the embassy’s walls and what looked like a bulletproof window.

Turkey is an important ally in the region for the U.S. and it shares borders with Iran, Iraq and Syria. One of the first terrorist groups that will be mentioned as a suspect in this bombing will be al-Qaeda, said one regional expert, but because of the recent airstrike carried out by Israel in Syria, the bombing could be in retaliation against Israel and its supporters

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