(Updates with terrorism charge in second paragraph.)
Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) -- A bomb blast in a central district of Turkey’s capital, Ankara, killed at least three people and injured 34, the chief prosecutor’s office said.
The explosion, caused by a shrapnel bomb planted in a vehicle, was an act of terrorism, according to the statement published by the state-run Anatolia news agency.
Five of the injured are in critical condition, Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said. The vehicle detonated across from the district governor’s office and about 200 meters (650 feet) from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office.
“I’ve learned that people who haven’t got any sense of humanity terrorized civilians and carried out an attack in Ankara,” President Abdullah Gul said in televised comments from Germany, where he is on a state visit. “I strongly and vehemently curse this act of terrorism.”
Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin said the initial blast, in an LPG-fueled car, triggered five other similar vehicles on the street to explode. The first car to detonate was sold Sept. 13 and the transaction hadn’t yet been completed, he said.
One person was detained in connection with the blast, said a policeman, who declined to be identified because he wasn’t authorized to speak on the matter. Hurriyet newspaper reported that two people were taken into custody, citing unidentified police officials.
Police are looking into witness reports that a burning gas canister thrown out of a window triggered the explosion, Ankara Governor Alaaddin Yuksel said earlier. That is unlikely to be the cause, and proving the theory wrong would add to evidence for a terrorist attack, Sahin said.
--With assistance from Steve Bryant in Ankara. Editors: Louis Meixler, Ben Holland.
To contact the reporters on this story: Emre Peker in Ankara at firstname.lastname@example.org; Ali Berat Meric in Ankara at email@example.com
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