Emergency personnel are seen in front of a side entrance to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, after a suspected suicide bombing, Feb. 1, 2013.
A suicide bomber detonated an explosive device at an entrance to the
U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital on Friday, killing himself and one
other person, officials said.
U.S. Ambassador Francis Ricciardione told reporters that a guard at
the gate was killed in the 1:15 p.m. blast, and a Turkish citizen was
wounded. Reuters quoted Ricciardione as saying the slain guard was a
Turkish national. U.S. Embassies are usually guarded by a combination of
local security personnel and American diplomatic security forces.
bomb appeared to have exploded inside the security checkpoint at the
side entrance of the embassy, but did not do damage inside the embassy
itself. Footage showed that the door had been blown off its hinges and
debris littered the ground and across the road. An Associated Press
journalist saw a body in the street in front of an embassy side
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that it had been a suicide attack.
swarmed the area and several ambulances were dispatched. An AP
journalist saw one woman who appeared to be seriously injured being
carried into an ambulance.
The police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with
government rules, said police had examined security cameras around the
embassy and had identified two people who could have been the suicide
The phones were not being answered at the
embassy. "The US Embassy would like to thank the Turkish Government, the
media, and members of the public for their expressions of solidarity
and outrage over the incident," it said in a statement.
embassy building is heavily protected. It is near an area where several
other embassies are located, including that of Germany and France.
Police sealed off the area and journalists were being kept away.
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 the last year.
homegrown Islamic militants tied to al Qaeda 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 Qaeda-affiliated militants outside the U.S.
Consulate in Istanbul left three assailants and three policemen dead.
the November 2003 attack on the British consulate, a suspected Islamic
militant rammed an explosive-laden pickup truck into the main gate,
killing British Consul-General, Roger Short, and his assistant, Lisa
CBS News senior correspondent John Miller, a
former deputy director in the National Intelligence Director's office,
says al Qaeda will be one of the first groups considered as suspect in
the attack, but he also notes the recent Israeli airstrike in Syria, for
which Damascus and its staunch ally Iran vowed to retaliate.
Miller says, has extensive intelligence operations in Turkey, and its
Islamic militant group ally, Hezbollah, also has significant assets
"Iran, in terms of retribution, would stack Israel and the U.S. together," says Miller.
has become a harsh critic of the regime in Syria, where a vicious civil
war has left at least 60,000 people dead. The first of six Patriot
missile batteries being deployed to Turkey to protect against attack
from Syria was declared operational and placed under NATO command on
Saturday and others were expected to be operational in the coming days.