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Turkey bans Facebook and Twitter over images of deadly Ankara bombing

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Daniel Snelson/Flickr (used under Creative Commons)
Social media users across Turkey have been blocked from accessing Twitter and Facebook following a court-ordered ban.

The move comes in the wake of a deadly bombing, which has thus far seen possibly as many as 37 people killed (the exact number is unconfirmed) and 125 wounded in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Sunday.

Local news broadcasters CNN Turk and NTV claim that footage of the attack was uploaded to Twitter and Facebook and consequently shared online, prompting the ban by a court in Ankara.

Turkey has frequently blocked access to social media sites, blaming their lack of restrictions on what it deems “terrorist propaganda.” Late last year, the country placed a temporary ban on Twitter after users circulated images of a standoff between police and far-left militants, including a photograph of a prosecutor being held hostage at gunpoint.

The Ankara blast marks the second time the city has been hit with a deadly bombing this year. The attack shook the administrative hub of the Turkish capital, with reports claiming it could be heard several kilometers away. In the aftermath, debris was scattered just a few hundred yards away from the Justice and Interior Ministries, as well as the office of the Prime Minister, reports Fortune.

Despite no immediate claim of responsibility, two undisclosed security officials told Reuters the evidence points to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The PKK has been locked in a three-decade-long insurgency against the government for Kurdish independence. Meanwhile, Turkey has renewed its bombardment of Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq, reports the state-run Andalou news agency. Since the bombing took place, Turkish police have arrested 36 suspects with ties to the PKK.

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