Ankara bomber revealed as Turkish Kurd, not Syrian refugee

Ankara bomber revealed as Turkish Kurd, not Syrian refugee
Abdulbaki Somer used a false identity to throw investigators off, Turkish authorities have said.
2 min read
24 February, 2016
A memorial was held to commemorate the lives lost in the attack [Getty]
The identity of a suicide bomber who killed 29 people in last week's Ankara attack has been revealed by authorities.

Abdulbaki Somer, an ethnic Kurd from Van in eastern Turkey, was allegedly a member of the Turkey-based Kurdish militant group the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) - understood to be an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' party (PKK).

DNA tests analysed by the prosecutor's office confirmed the 26-year-old's identity - who had previously been named as a Syrian national, Saleh Najjar.

Somer had travelled into Syria, then provided a false name on his return into Turkey, officials said.

Turkey has called on the US and other allies to stop supporting armed Kurdish groups in Syria, despite their contribution to the battle against the Islamic State group.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Tuesday that investigators had found evidence to suggest the PKK's involvement in the Ankara attack, although no details were provided.  

The attack targeted buses carrying military personnel and has been described as a retaliation to Turkish military operations against Kurds.

Read more: Thousands flee Kurdish towns as Turkey imposes curfew

Somer was reportedly based in the militants' camp in the northern Iraqi mountains since he joined the group in 2005.

A group of 14 others were charged in connection to the attack over the weekend, and police detained a further three suspects on Tuesday.

Somer's father and brother were among ten others being interrogated for offering condolences to the bomber.

Last week's attack killed 29 and injured 10, the health ministry has said.