The State Department confirmed a terrorist attack today just outside the US Embassy in Ankara and told Americans to stay away from US diplomatic offices throughout Turkey. A department spokeswoman says the explosion occurred on the perimeter of the embassy at about 1:15pm local time. Officials in the Turkish capital said a suspected suicide bomber detonated an explosive in front of the embassy, killing himself and one other person at the entrance gate. US Ambassador Francis Ricciardione identified the other death as an embassy guard.
No Americans were believed to be injured in the attack, officials said, but a female Turkish journalist was also seriously wounded and two other guards sustained lighter wounds. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Turkey's interior minister, Muammer Guler, said the bomber was likely connected to a domestic left-wing militant group. He did not explain why. A police official, meanwhile, told the AP that the bomber is most likely a suspected member of the outlawed Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front. The group has been designated a terrorist organization by the US but had been relatively quiet in recent years.