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  • Family members mourn during a funeral for the victims of the February 17 car bombing at Kocatepe Mosque in Ankara on Feb. 19, 2016

    Family members mourn during a funeral for the victims of the February 17 car bombing at Kocatepe Mosque in Ankara on Feb. 19, 2016 | Photo: AFP

Published 19 February 2016

A Kurdish group claimed responsibility for the Ankara Bombing contradicting government claims that leftist Kurdish guerilla group PKK was behind it.

A Kurdish militant group known as Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK) claimed responsibility for the bombing in the Turkish capital Ankara Wednesday that targeted military buses and killed at least 28 people.

In a statement on their website, the TAK said the attack was a response to policies of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the military operations taking place in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast regions.

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"Tourism ... is a major target we aim to destroy. We warn the foreign and native tourists not go to the touristic areas in Turkey. We are not responsible for who will die in the attacks targeting those areas," the group said and vowed more attacks on Turkish soil.

The TAK is a group that split from the Kurdistan’s Workers’ Party (PKK) in 2004 because it regarded their tactics as “too humane.” The TAK has made clear in the past that it had no connection with the PKK, which is regarded as a terrorist organization by the United States.

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On Thursday, the Turkish government claimed PKK and its offshoot in Syria, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing the YPG, were behind the attacks.

The bombing took place Wednesday when a car laden with explosives was detonated at an intersection in Ankara as several military buses waited at a traffic light. The explosion took place one street away from the Turkish parliament in one of the most guarded areas in Ankara and the country.

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The TAK said the bomber was a 26-year-old Turkish national born in the eastern city of Van.

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