Turkey: 27 killed in Ankara blast

Ankara: At least 27 people were killed and 75 others injured in a strong explosion that hit the Turkish capital Ankara on Sunday, the governor's office said.

The blast took place in Kizilay district in the heart of Ankara at 18:35 local time, according to a statement.

Private news broadcaster NTV said a bomb-loaded car exploded near bus stops where many people were present. A number of vehicles, including a bus carrying passengers, were set on fire near Guven Park, a major transportation hub. The wounded were rushed to 10 different hospitals for medical treatment, Xinhua reported.

Witnesses said smoke could be seen rising above the area from a distance, and square Kizilay has been closed fearing a possible second explosion.

Turkey's TV watchdog has declared a broadcasting ban on images of the scene and victims.

Earlier on Friday the US embassy in Ankara warned its citizens over a potential terror attack against "government buildings and housing located in the Bahcelievler area" in the Turkish capital.

This is the third major blast in the Turkish capital since last October.

On October 10, 2015, alleged Islamic State (IS) militants bombed a peace rally near Ankara Railway Station near a major city thoroughfare, killing at least 103 people.

On February 17, a suicide car bomb targeted military shuttles in the capital city, killing at least 29 people and injuring 81 others. IANS