ISTANBUL – A Kurdish militant group on Thursday claimed responsibility for a suicide car-bomb attack in the Turkish capital which killed 37 people.
In a statement posted on its website, the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons said the attack in Ankara was in “revenge” for Turkish military operations against Kurdish rebels in the southeast.
The group said the attack was led by Seher Cagla Demir, code name Doga Jiyan, described as the first female suicide bomber in its ranks.
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“We claim the operation of March 13, 2016 at 6:45 p.m. in the heart of the Republic of Turkey,” the statement said.
The Turkey-based group is considered an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and has carried out several attacks in the past including one in Ankara in February that killed 28 people.
The name in the claim of responsibility corresponds with the findings of Turkey’s Interior Ministry, which on Tuesday had identified the suicide car bomber as a 24-year-old woman who became a Kurdish rebel in 2013 and had trained in Syria.
More than 200 people have died in five suicide bombings in Turkey since July that were blamed either on the Kurdish rebels or the Islamic State group. Three of those bombings have targeted Ankara. Turkey is facing a host of security threats including renewed fighting with Kurdish rebels in the southeast.
Meanwhile, the German Foreign Office said its embassy in Ankara would be closed Thursday due to a security warning. In addition, the German school in Ankara and the consulate in Istanbul were also closed.