Turkey: Tax office blast caused by bomb, attacker killed

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — An explosion at a tax office in the Turkish capital was caused by a bomb — not a gas leak as initially believed, authorities said Friday, adding that the suspected bomber had been killed in a police operation.

The Ankara governor's office said authorities had also detained eight people suspected of links to the alleged bomber, whom it identified as a man who had trained with Kurdish militants in Syria.

Thursday's explosion damaged the tax office building in the city's Cukurambar district but did not cause any casualties.

It came as Turkey's military pushed ahead with a cross-border offensive into an enclave in northern Syria to rout a Syrian Kurdish militia group it says is linked to outlawed Kurdish rebels in Turkey.

Authorities initially said they believed the blast was a gas explosion but did not rule out the possibility of "sabotage." The statement said the suspect was identified with the help of security cameras that showed him leaving a bag believed to contain an explosive at the entrance to the tax office.

The statement identified the bomber as Ersen Ertogan, born in 1991, who had entered Turkey illegally from Syria. It said he was killed in a pre-dawn raid Friday to apprehend him.

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