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Feb 01, 2013 at 09:33pm IST

Turkey: Suicide bombing near US embassy; 3 including US staff member reported dead

Ankara: A suicide bomber detonated an explosive device outside the US embassy in Turkey's capital Ankara on Friday. Initial reports suggest that three people have been killed in the blast.

The suicide bomber, a security guard, a US staff member are reported to be dead, according to the Turkish police. Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs in India has confirmed that all Indians in Turkey are safe.

An Associated Press journalist on Friday saw a body in the street in front of an embassy side entrance.

The bomb appeared to have exploded inside the security checkpoint at the entrance of the embassy. Private NTV television said two security guards at the entrance were killed.

The police official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules. The phones were not being answered at the embassy.

The embassy building is heavily protected. It is near an area where several other embassies, including that of Germany and France, are located.

Police sealed off the area and journalists were being kept away. There was no claim of responsibility, but Kurdish rebels and Islamic militants are active in Turkey.

Kurdish rebels, who are fighting for autonomy in the Kurdish-dominated southeast, have dramatically stepped up attacks in Turkey over 2012. As well, homegrown Islamic militants tied to al-Qaida have carried out suicide bombings in Istanbul, killing 58, in 2003.

The targets were the British consulate, a British bank and two synagogues. In 2008, an attack blamed on al-Qaida-affiliated militants outside the US Consulate in Istanbul left three assailants and three policemen dead.

(With Additional Inputs From Associated Press)

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