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Thousands protest in Turkey after deadly suicide bombings

Thousands of citizens have protested on the streets of Ankara against the bombings that killed at least 95 people and left 246 wounded. Some protesters carried placards with the words, "The state is a killer."

Anti-government protests broke out in front of Ankara's hospitals and at the sites where

twin bombings killed at least 95 people

earlier on Saturday. Nearly 10,000 people chanted "Murderer Erdogan" referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who many accused of increasing tensions with the Kurds.

Protesters also carried placards saying "the state is a killer" and "we know the murderers." Demonstrations also took place in several other cities including Istanbul, Izmir on the Aegean Sea and the southeastern cities of Batman and Diyarbakir, the Dogan news agency reported.

Turkey's government imposed a temporary ban on news that showed images of where the blasts occurred, or "images that create a feeling of panic."

The government warned media organizations that they could face a "full blackout" if they defied the rules.

Citizens also reported not being able to access Twitter and other social media websites shortly after the blasts, the Associated Press reported.

US President Barack Obama sent a message of sympathy after his Secretary of State spoke with his Turkish counterpart on Saturday: "The president conveyed his deepest personal sympathies for those killed and injured in these heinous attacks, and affirmed that the American people stand in solidarity with the people of Turkey in the fight against terrorism and shared security challenges in the region," the White House said in a statement.

'IS or PKK responsible'

Türkei Istanbul Proteste nach Anschlägen

Demonstrators in Istanbul protest against the government

At least 95 people died and 246 were wounded in an attack

that targeted a peace rally in Ankara's central area on Saturday. No organization claimed responsibility for the explosions, but Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoglu said there were "strong signs" the two blasts were carried out by Kurdish militants or members of the group calling itself "Islamic State" (IS).

"For some time, we have been receiving intelligence information based on some [Kurdish rebel] and Daesh statements that certain suicide attackers would be sent to Turkey… and that through these attackers chaos would be created in Turkey," the prime minister said in a statement, referring to IS by its Arabic acronym.

Authorities had detained at least two suspects in recent days in Ankara and Istanbul, Davutoglu said.

Fighting between Turkish forces and Kurdish rebels has intensified in Turkey's southeast since July this year, killing at least 150 police officers and soldiers and hundreds of Kurdish rebels of the PKK. Critics have accused the president of using the enmity for electoral gains.

Erdogan has condemned the explosions, saying "The greatest and most meaningful response to this attack is the solidarity and determination we will show against it."

mg/jm (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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