U.S. embassy in Ankara, Turkey hit by suicide bomber

McClatchy NewspapersFebruary 1, 2013 

— An apparent suicide bomber struck the U.S. embassy in the Turkish capital of Ankara today. The State Department confirmed a 'terrorist blast' at the embassy, but didn't give any word on casualties.

A defense official told McClatchy on condition of anonymity that at least one American was killed in the blast, though the information couldn't be independently confirmed. Other news reports say two people died in the bombing.

The official also said that the bomber was able to breach the embassy's first security perimeter before detonating. The State Department said only that the explosion occurred "at a checkpoint on the perimeter of our embassy compound in Ankara," according to a statement from spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

"We are working closely with the Turkish national police to make a full assessment of the damage and the casualties, and to begin an investigation," Nuland said.

The attack underscores the debate around diplomatic security that raged after the deadly Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. consulate and a nearby CIA annex in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.

The attack also comes on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's last day in office. Later today, incoming secretary John Kerry is expected to be sworn in, with Monday to be his first day on the job.

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