The bloodshed came on the heels of a string of attacks in Turkey, blamed on jihadists but also on Kurdish rebels. The bomb aimed at a convoy of military service vehicles, Ankara Governor Mehmet Kiliclar said.

Plumes of smoke rose from the scene, close to the headquarters of the Turkish military and the parliament. The powerful blast was heard all over the city, sending residents to their balconies in panic, an correspondent cited.

The army said the attack took place at 1631 GMT and had targeted "service vehicles carrying army personnel". It did not give a toll.

"The terror attack was carried out when the vehicles were waiting for traffic lights at a road junction," it added. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu cancelled a planned visit to Brussels tomorrow after being briefed, his office said.

Ambulances and fire engines were sent to the scene, which is near the Turkish military headquarters and the parliament. Wounded victims were seen being taken away on stretchers.

The spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Omer Celik, said on Twitter he strongly condemned the "act of terror". "But our determination to fight (terror) will become even greater," he added. Turkish police threw a security cordon around the area. A second blast later rocked the area, the correspondent cited, but media said this was police detonating a suspicious package.

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