Police fire tear gas to stop Ankara bombings commemoration

10 October 2017 - 13:38 By AFP
Riot police dispersed around 150 people who wanted to commemorate the anniversary at the attack site. File photo
Riot police dispersed around 150 people who wanted to commemorate the anniversary at the attack site. File photo
Image: REUTERS

Police on Tuesday fired tear gas on people gathering in Ankara to mark the second anniversary of the worst attack in Turkey's modern history.

A total of 102 people were killed on October 10, 2015 when suspected Islamic State members blew themselves up among pro-Kurdish peace activists attending a rally outside the capital's train station.

Riot police dispersed around 150 people who wanted to commemorate the anniversary at the attack site, an AFP photographer said.

About 30 people were able to take part in a ceremony outside the station, including members of the Turkish parliament, the photographer said.

Only relatives, lawmakers and civil society organisations were allowed to take part in the official event, Dogan news agency reported.

The main roads in the city centre were closed and heavy security was deployed near the station.

No one has yet been convicted over the attack but 36 people are on trial in Ankara, some of whom face multiple sentences on charges of murder and seeking to change the constitutional order.

Some of the suspects are also accused of being IS members and face up to 22.5 years in prison. Nineteen of those on trial remain in jail, local media said.

Turkey has been hit by a spate of attacks blamed on IS and Kurdish militants over the past two years, including this year's New Year attack on an elite Istanbul nightclub during which 39 people were killed by an IS gunman.

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