ANKARA, Turkey — Two people died after a suicide bomb exploded Friday outside the US Embassy in Ankara, officials said.
Ankara Governor Alaaddin Yuksel said one of the dead included the male suicide bomber, GlobalPost's Suzanna Koster reported. The second killed was a Turkish national and embassy staffer, Interior Minister Muammer Guler said. Guler identified the staffer as having been in his mid-forties.
Koster reported that a journalist who was injured in the explosion was in critical condition.
The US State Department is investigating the "terrorist blast," spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said hours later:
Local press agency DHA reported that the bomber is believed to have been a member of the Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, also known by the acronym DHKP-C. The US has designated the DHKP-C a terrorist organization since 1997. However, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, NBC News reported.
Watch GlobalPost video of the bombing's aftermath in Ankara:
NBC News had earlier reported three dead, citing information from Turkish police officials. US Ambassador Francis Ricciardione told reporters that a guard at the compound gate was killed and a Turkish citizen wounded in the blast, CBS reported.
The British Consulate-General in Istanbul called for heightened vigilance among its diplomatic corps in Turkey's capital.
"There has been a suspected terrorist attack on the US Embassy in Ankara. Due to the nature of this incident we advise you to be extra vigilant and to take appropriate security measures to safeguard your staff and assets," the British mission said in a statement.
Several buildings near the embassy were also damaged by the blast, AFP reported. The US embassy is located near seveal other foreign embassies in Ankara, including the German and French.
According to Twitterati in Ankara, police responded to the attack by sectioning off the area.
Some have speculated about the bomber's motive:
However, Turkey's main domestic threat comes from the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), deemed a terrorist group by the United States, European Union and Turkey, the Telegraph reported.
Earlier this year, about 400 US personnel arrived in Turkey to support the deployment of a NATO Patriot missile battery as fears of a possible incursion of Syrian forces as the country sinks further into civil war.
Suzanna Koster reported from Ankara.