All 20 Bruneians safe in Turkey: Embassy

Members of the left-wing Labour Party (EMEP) shout slogans as they carry pictures of the victims of Saturday's bomb blasts during a commemoration in Ankara, Turkey, October 11, 2015.
PHOTO: Reuters

Twenty Bruneians living in Turkey are safe, said the Brunei embassy in Ankara, after two explosions rocked the Turkish capital killing 97 people on Saturday.

"All Bruneians in Turkey are safe. There are 20 Bruneians living in Turkey now, including embassy officials and their families, as well as students," said the embassy in a statement emailed to The Brunei Times.

Most Bruneians in Turkey live in the capital of Ankara, while seven are pursuing further studies in Istanbul.

Twin suicide bombings targeted a peace rally outside the main railway station in Ankara on Saturday, killing 97 people and injuring hundreds of others in the worst attack in Turkey's modern history.

The rally was calling for an end to violence between Turkish government forces and the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Turkish Ambassador to Brunei Oguz Ates said: "Turkish security forces will take all necessary measures to find out who carried out the suicide bombings in Ankara on Saturday. DNA evidence has been collected and detailed forensic work is being carried out. There have been no further attacks or explosions since then."

Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said yesterday that the Islamic State (ISIS) group is the prime suspect.

Turkey has seen a spike in violent incidents in recent months, including a wave of attacks in Istanbul last August, where militants targeted the US consulate, a local police station, and the famed Dolmabahce palace.

The attacks came weeks after Ankara launched a crackdown on Islamic State, Kurdish and far-left militants.

The Australian and British governments have warned tourists that "there is a high threat from terrorism" in Turkey, and advised travelers to exercise a high degree of caution, avoiding demonstrations or large gatherings, as well as areas near the Syrian border.