Published: February 02. 2013 4:00AM PST
In the second deadly assault on a U.S. diplomatic post in five months, a suicide bomber struck the American Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, on Friday, killing a Turkish security guard and injuring several others in what the White House described as a terrorist attack.
Washington immediately warned Americans to stay away from all U.S. diplomatic facilities in Turkey and to be wary in large crowds.
Turkish officials, who condemned the attack, said the bombing, at a security checkpoint at the side entrance to the embassy, was linked to leftist domestic militants. White House spokesman Jay Carney, however, said the motive for the attack and who was behind it was not known.
The state-run Anadolu Agency identified the bomber as Ecevit Sanli. It said the 40-year-old Turkish man was a member of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP-C, which has claimed responsibility for assassinations and bombings since the 1970s. The group has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States but had been relatively quiet in recent years.
Hillary Clinton, in her farewell speech to State Department staff moments after she formally resigned as secretary of state, said “we were attacked and lost one of our foreign service nationals." The incoming secretary of state, John Kerry, also was briefed on the situation.
U.S. diplomatic facilities in Turkey have been targeted previously by terrorists. In 2008, an attack blamed on al-Qaida-
affiliated militants outside the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul left three assailants and three policemen dead. The latest attack on a U.S. diplomatic post was on Sept. 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked a U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, killing U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Yavuz Ozden / The Associated Press