People stand Feb. 1 outside the entrance of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara just after a blast killed two, including a security guard, and wounded several other people. (Yavuz Ozden / Milliyet Newspaper via AFP)
ANKARA — A Turkish Interior Ministry official said several suspects, including Islamic radicals or Kurdish separatists, could have been behind the Feb. 1 suicide bomb attack at the U.S. Embassy that killed a Turkish security guard and injured a diplomatic correspondent
Didem Tuncay, a diplomatic correspondent, was at the embassy to make a visa application when the attack occurred. Doctors at the Numune Hospital said at 16:00 hours local time Feb. 1 that Tuncay’s condition was critical.
The explosion occurred at the entrance used by embassy personnel and their visitors. A security guard at the X-ray machine at the entrance was killed in the explosion as the suspected suicide bomber was passing through the machine, officials said.
U.S. Embassy personnel told Defense News there was no damage inside the embassy. No U.S. diplomat was killed or injured during the blast, they said. All U.S. Embassy personnel were taken to saferooms in the embassy.
U.S. Ambassador to Ankara Francis Ricciardone said the blast would not affect U.S.-Turkish relations.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a televised speech that “this was an attack against peace in Turkey.”
Interior Minister Muammer Guler said that forensic examinations were underway to identify the attacker. He said initial findings revealed that the attacker was “most probably a Turkish citizen.”
This was most likely a terrorist act, said another Interior Ministry official.
“It must be one of the usual suspects. … Either Islamic radicals, extreme leftists or the Kurdish separatists,” he said. “We are also investigating possible foreign links, most notably Syrian and/or Iranian, which may have manipulated the attacker.”