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At least 28 dead in Turkish capital explosion

A large explosion in the Turkish capital, Ankara, has left at least 28 people dead and 61 injured, Turkish officials have said.

A vehicle full of explosives was detonated as military buses were passing by, according to the Ankara governor’s office.

A firefighter vehicle is seen near the explosion site in Ankara, Turkey February 17, 2016. REUTERS/Mustafa Kirazli/Cihan News Agency TURKEY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN TURKEY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS.

The blast happened in an area close to parliament and Turkey’s military headquarters.

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag called an “act of terrorism”, the BBC reports.

Large plumes of smoke were seen rising from the area and witnesses said the blast was heard all over the city. Some of the victims were civilians. Ambulances and fire engines were sent to the scene.

Security forces carried out a controlled explosion on a suspect package after the blast.

REFILE - ADDING DISCLAIMERFirefighters prepare to extinguish fire after an explosion in Ankara, Turkey February 17, 2016. REUTERS/Ihlas News Agency TURKEY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN TURKEY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Turkey’s Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has cancelled a trip to Brussels.

President Recep Tayipp Erdogan said Turkey was more determined than ever to use “its right to self-defence”.

In a statement released several hours after the attack, he said: “Our determination to respond in kind to attacks taking place inside and outside our borders is getting stronger with such acts.”

“Enough is enough! Do not kill any more! Do not make the people of this country sad anymore…”

Just one tweet summarising the dark mood across Turkey.

Hundreds of people have been offering their condolences to the relatives of the dead, condemning the attack, posting pictures and videos of the aftermath of the scene on social media.

The attack targeted a shuttle bus carrying military personnel, and there were several other military vehicles nearby – all of which were waiting at the traffic lights. Most of the casualties are believed to be soldiers.

The Turkish army strongly condemned the attack and called this “a treacherous terror act”. The government and the opposition parties have also strongly condemned the incident.