UPDATE: 1:39 p.m. EDT — Turkish officials have named a suicide bomber in the deadly attack in Ankara as Seher Çağla Demir, Hurriyet Daily News reported Tuesday. Demir, 24, was allegedly a member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Interior Ministry said.
An official investigation into the attack remains ongoing, but Turkish officials early on indicated that they believed the bombing was linked to the PKK, with whom they are currently fighting in the southeast. The PKK has not yet claimed responsibility.
At least 37 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded when an attack targeted Turkey’s capital Sunday. Demir’s father said he would refuse to attend her funeral if reports that she was the bomber turned out to be true.
The death toll from Sunday's car bomb attack in Turkey's capital city, Ankara, rose to 37, Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said Monday, according to reports. Turkish officials said that one of the attackers was a member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), even though no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
“As of this morning ... we lost three more citizens in hospital,” Muezzinoglu said, according to AFP, adding: “I curse that mindset which dares to massacre innocent civilians.”
Muezzinoglu added that 71 people were still being treated in hospitals and that 15 of them were in serious condition, Reuters reported.
The latest attack is the third to hit Ankara in five months and follows one on Feb. 17 that killed 29 people. On Monday morning, police officials barricaded the scene of the incident while forensic teams conducted their investigation.
Turkish security officials said one of the two suspected attackers in Ankara was a female PKK fighter who joined the group in 2013, Reuters reported. She was reportedly born in 1992 and belonged to the eastern Turkish city of Kars. The Turkish government plans to officially identify the organization behind the attack later Monday.
Following the attack, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the country’s resolve to fight against terror will remain intact.
“Our state will never give up its right to self-defense against all kinds of terror threats,” Erdoğan said, according to state-run Anadolu Agency. “Terror organizations and their pawns are targeting our innocent citizens in the most immoral and heartless way as they lose the fight against our security forces,” he added.
Meanwhile, also on Monday, Turkish fighter jets hit arms depots and shelters run by the PKK in Kandil and Gara regions in northern Iraq, reports said, adding that the targets were hit “with precision.”
Turkey is part of the U.S.-led coalition that has been fighting to contain the spread of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.