UPDATE: 5:35 p.m. EDT -- A suicide bombing in Ankara during a peace rally of pro-Kurdish and labor activists killed at least 95 Saturday, and in the Kurdistan region in neighboring Iraq, protesters attacked or burned several offices of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Qaladize, killing at least three, Reuters reported.
Reuters also put the number of injuries in Ankara at 246, although earlier reports said as many as 400 were hurt, with 48 in intensive care.
The Iraq protests stem from the public blaming the Kurdistan Regional Government, of which the KDP is a partner, for the economic crisis in the region.
President Barack Obama offered his condolences Saturday to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and expressed the sympathies of the American people, according to the Office of the Press Secretary.
UPDATE: 3 p.m. EDT -- The estimate of the number of people hurt in the Ankara bombings Saturday has dramatically risen, with the Turkish Medical Association saying more than 400 people were injured, according to CNN.
Access to Twitter has been limited across Turkey in the wake of the bombings at a peace rally, with many users reporting issues. The social media network is looking into it and hopes to restore access soon.
Users in #Turkey are reporting issues accessing Twitter in many areas. We’re investigating and hope full service will be restored soon.
— Policy (@policy) October 10, 2015
UPDATE: 1:30 p.m. EDT -- The death toll taken by the Ankara blasts Saturday reportedly has risen to 97, according to the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, as cited by Reuters.
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron has expressed his condolences to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu:
PM: Spoke to @Ahmet_Davutoglu following appalling terrorist attack in Ankara. My thoughts are with the victims and their families.
— UK Prime Minister (@Number10gov) October 10, 2015
UPDATE: 12:30 p.m. EDT -- The U.S. National Security Council has issued a statement about the Ankara terrorist attack, according to representative Ned Price:
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms today’s horrific terrorist attack in Ankara, Turkey. The fact that this attack occurred ahead of a planned rally for peace underscores the depravity of those behind it and serves as another reminder of the need to confront shared security challenges in the region.
“We offer our deepest condolences to the families and other loved ones of the victims, just as our thoughts remain with those injured in this senseless violence. The United States will continue to stand side-by-side with the Turkish government and people as together we take on the scourge of terrorism. Far from deterring these efforts, such horrific acts of violence will only strengthen our resolve.”
UPDATE: 11:30 a.m. EDT -- Two suicide bombers were responsible for the attack in Ankara Saturday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in an address to the nation, according to CNN. In his speech, Davutoglu called for three days of national mourning.
“This is an attack that does not target a specific group; it is an attack on the entire nation and [an] attack on our unity,” Davutoglu said. “Turkey is a country that has managed to maintain peace in the region.”
Turkey’s government apparently is censoring news coverage of the blasts across the country, with the Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council imposing a ban on broadcasting images of the terrorist attack.
Two bomb blasts interrupted a peace rally in the Turkish capital Ankara Saturday, killing at least 86 people and injuring 186 others in one of the most deadly acts of terrorism in modern Turkish history.
Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu announced the casualties in a televised statement. “Unfortunately, we are afraid that the number may increase due to the number of heavy injuries,” he said.
The rally was being held outside Ankara’s main train station, with about 14,000 people believed to have been in the area at the time of the explosions, which happened just minutes apart.
It is thought that a suicide bomber is responsible for at least one of the blasts, according to Omer Celik, a representative of the Justice and Development Party, which leads the interim government.
The blasts came just three weeks before Turks are set to head to the polling booths early amid political unrest and security issues. “We condemn this terrorist attack,” Celik said. “This is a highly provocative action aimed at sabotaging the election process.”
The Istanbul-based Dogan News Agency caught the first blast on video: As people at the peace rally chant and hold hands, a big explosion goes off behind them.
— dokuz8 (@dokuz8haber) October 10, 2015
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called an emergency security meeting to discuss the bombings.
The peace rally was being held in protest of the conflict between Kurdish militants and the government in the southeastern region of Turkey.
At this point, neither an individual nor a group has claimed responsibility for the attack.