Protesters gather at scene of Ankara bombings; 95 dead

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Crowds Gather as Turkey Mourns Dead

Thousands of people, many chanting anti-government slogans, gathered in central Ankara on Sunday near the scene of bomb blasts which killed at least 95 people, mourning the victims of the most deadly attack of its kind on Turkish soil.

Two suspected suicide bombers hit a rally of pro-Kurdish and labor activists near Ankara's main train station on Saturday, three weeks before an election, shocking a nation beset by conflict between the state and Kurdish militants.

SEE MORE: Suicide bombings kill 95 people at Ankara peace rally

The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), a major presence at Saturday's march, said police attacked its leaders and members as they tried to leave carnations earlier at the scene. Some were hurt in the melee, it said in a statement.

"Murderer (President Tayyip) Erdogan", "murderer police", the crowd chanted in Sihhiye square, as riot police backed by water cannon vehicles blocked a main highway leading to the district where parliament and government buildings are located.

Click through to see more images of the protest:

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Ankara protest
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Protesters gather at scene of Ankara bombings; 95 dead
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 11: A woman cries as she and others gather during a commemoration of the Saturday's bomb blast on October 11, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. Scuffles broke out as police prevented pro-Kurdish politicians and other mourners from laying carnations at the site of two suspected suicide bombings that killed 95 people and wounded hundreds in Turkey's deadliest attack in years. Police insisted investigators were still working at the site. Turkish PM Davutoglu declares three days of national mourning over Ankara bomb attacks. (Photo by Gokhan Tan/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 11: Members of the left-wing Labour Party (EMEP) carry pictures of the victims of Saturday's bomb blasts during a commemoration on October 11, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. Scuffles broke out as police prevented pro-Kurdish politicians and other mourners from laying carnations at the site of two suspected suicide bombings that killed 95 people and wounded hundreds in Turkey's deadliest attack in years. Police insisted investigators were still working at the site. Turkish PM Davutoglu declares three days of national mourning over Ankara bomb attacks. (Photo by Gokhan Tan/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 11: Proterstors carry flags and pictures of the victims of Saturday's bomb blasts during a commemoration on October 11, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. Scuffles broke out as police prevented pro-Kurdish politicians and other mourners from laying carnations at the site of two suspected suicide bombings that killed 95 people and wounded hundreds in Turkey's deadliest attack in years. Police insisted investigators were still working at the site. Turkish PM Davutoglu declares three days of national mourning over Ankara bomb attacks. (Photo by Gokhan Tan/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 11: Protestors gather in a square during a commemoration for the victims of Saturday's bomb blasts in the Turkish capital, on October 11, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. Scuffles broke out as police prevented pro-Kurdish politicians and other mourners from laying carnations at the site of two suspected suicide bombings that killed 95 people and wounded hundreds in Turkey's deadliest attack in years. Police insisted investigators were still working at the site. Turkish PM Davutoglu declares three days of national mourning over Ankara bomb attacks. (Photo by Gokhan Tan/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 11: Selahattin Demirtas, (Center-R) and Figen Yuksekdag (L), co-leaders of the pro Kurdish Democratic Party of Peoples (HDP) walk through the crowd on October 11, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. Scuffles broke out as police prevented pro-Kurdish politicians and other mourners from laying carnations at the site of two suspected suicide bombings that killed 95 people and wounded hundreds in Turkey's deadliest attack in years. Police insisted investigators were still working at the site. Turkish PM Davutoglu declares three days of national mourning over Ankara bomb attacks. (Photo by Gokhan Tan/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 11: Members of the left-wing Labour Party (EMEP) carry pictures of the victims of Saturday's bomb blasts during a commemoration on October 11, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. Scuffles broke out as police prevented pro-Kurdish politicians and other mourners from laying carnations at the site of two suspected suicide bombings that killed 95 people and wounded hundreds in Turkey's deadliest attack in years. Police insisted investigators were still working at the site. Turkish PM Davutoglu declares three days of national mourning over Ankara bomb attacks. (Photo by Gokhan Tan/Getty Images)
A protester offers carnations to Turkish police blocking the way to the site of Saturday's explosions in Ankara, Turkey, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015. Scuffles broke out as police prevented pro-Kurdish politicians and other mourners from laying carnations at the site of two suspected suicide bombings that killed 95 people and wounded hundreds in Turkey's deadliest attack in years. Police insisted investigators were still working at the site. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Protesters, one holding a placard reading in Turkish: 'Peace'. gather trying to reach the site of Saturday's explosions in Ankara, Turkey, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015. Scuffles broke out as police prevented pro-Kurdish politicians and other mourners from laying carnations at the site of two suspected suicide bombings that killed 95 people and wounded hundreds in Turkey's deadliest attack in years. Police insisted investigators were still working at the site. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
A protester throws carnations to Turkish police blocking the way to the site of Saturday's explosions in Ankara, Turkey, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015. Scuffles broke out as police prevented pro-Kurdish politicians and other mourners from laying carnations at the site of two suspected suicide bombings that killed 95 people and wounded hundreds in Turkey's deadliest attack in years. Police insisted investigators were still working at the site. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Mourners in Ankara, Turkey, Sunday Oct. 11, 2015, are held back by police to approach the site of the Saturday explosions. Scuffles broke out as police prevented pro-Kurdish politicians and other mourners from laying carnations at the site of two suspected suicide bombings that killed 95 people and wounded hundreds in Turkey's deadliest attack in years. Police insisted investigators were still working at the site. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 11: A woman cries as she and others gather during a commemoration of the Saturday's bomb blast on October 11, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. Scuffles broke out as police prevented pro-Kurdish politicians and other mourners from laying carnations at the site of two suspected suicide bombings that killed 95 people and wounded hundreds in Turkey's deadliest attack in years. Police insisted investigators were still working at the site. Turkish PM Davutoglu declares three days of national mourning over Ankara bomb attacks. (Photo by Gokhan Tan/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 11: Selahattin Demirtas, (center) co-leader of the pro Kurdish Democratic Party of Peoples (HDP) walks through the crowd on October 11, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. Scuffles broke out as police prevented pro-Kurdish politicians and other mourners from laying carnations at the site of two suspected suicide bombings that killed 95 people and wounded hundreds in Turkey's deadliest attack in years. Police insisted investigators were still working at the site. Turkish PM Davutoglu declares three days of national mourning over Ankara bomb attacks. (Photo by Gokhan Tan/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 11: A member of the left-wing Labour Party (EMEP) carries picture of the victims of Saturday's bomb blasts during a commemoration on October 11, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. Scuffles broke out as police prevented pro-Kurdish politicians and other mourners from laying carnations at the site of two suspected suicide bombings that killed 95 people and wounded hundreds in Turkey's deadliest attack in years. Police insisted investigators were still working at the site. Turkish PM Davutoglu declares three days of national mourning over Ankara bomb attacks. (Photo by Gokhan Tan/Getty Images)
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The government denies any suggestion of involvement. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, exposing a mosaic of domestic political perils, said Islamic State, Kurdish militant factions or far-leftist radicals could have carried out the bombing.

Some have suggested militant nationalists opposed to any accommodation with Kurds seeking greater minority rights could have been responsible.

Turkish investigators worked on Sunday to identify the perpetrators and victims of the attack. Newspaper headlines reflected the mixture of grief and anger.

WATCH: Hundreds gather to protest after deadly bombing:

Hundreds Rally in Istanbul After Ankara Blasts

"We are in mourning for peace," said the front-page headline in the secularist Cumhuriyet newspaper as three days of national mourning declared by the prime minister got underway. "Scum Launch attack in Ankara," said the Haberturk newspaper. "The goal is to divide the nation," said the pro-government Star.

DEATH TOLL COULD RISE

One of the bombers had been identified as a male aged between 25-30 after analyzing bodies at the scene and taking fingerprints, the pro-government Yeni Safak said.

There were no claims of responsibility for the attack, which came as external threats mount for NATO member Turkey, with increased fighting across its border with Syria and incursions by Russian warplanes on its air space over the last week.

Davutoglu's office named 52 of the victims overnight and said autopsies were continuing. It said 246 wounded people were still being treated, 48 of them in intensive care.

WARNING: Some people may find these images from the deadly blast disturbing:

17 PHOTOS
Twin suicide bombings in Ankara, Turkey
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Protesters gather at scene of Ankara bombings; 95 dead
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 10: People react at the site of an explosion close to Ankara's main train station on October 10, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. An explosion hit Ankara train station Saturday morning leaving 30 people dead and 126 others injured, as many people gathered outside the station for a peace demonstration to be held in nearby at Sihhiye Square. (Photo by Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 10: People react at the site of an explosion close to Ankara's main train station on October 10, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. An explosion hit Ankara train station Saturday morning leaving 30 people dead and 126 others injured, as many people gathered outside the station for a peace demonstration to be held in nearby at Sihhiye Square. (Photo by Ercin Top/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 10: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains graphic content.) victims at the blast scene after an explosion during a peace march in Ankara, October 10, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. At least 30 people have been killed and 130 people wounded in twin explosions outside the main train station in the Turkish capital Ankara where people were gathering for a peace march. (Photo by Gokhan Tan/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 10: A wounded man lays on the ground at the site of an explosion close to Ankara's main train station on October 10, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. An explosion hit Ankara train station Saturday morning leaving 30 people dead and 126 others injured, as many people gathered outside the station for a peace demonstration to be held in nearby at Sihhiye Square. (Photo by Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
An injured woman is comforted following an explosion at the main train station in Turkey's capital Ankara, on October 10, 2015. At least 30 people were killed and 126 were injured in the explosion which happened ahead of an anti-government peace rally organised by leftist groups later in the day, including the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN (Photo credit should read ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 10: People are seen at the site of an explosion close to Ankara's main train station on October 10, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. An explosion hit Ankara train station Saturday morning leaving 30 people dead and 126 injured, as many people gathered outside the station for a peace demonstration to be held in nearby at Sihhiye Square. (Photo by Binnur Ege Gurun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 10: Dead bodies of the victims lay on the ground at the site of an explosion close to Ankara's main train station on October 10, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. An explosion hit Ankara train station Saturday morning leaving 30 people dead and 126 injured, as many people gathered outside the station for a peace demonstration to be held in nearby at Sihhiye Square. (Photo by Binnur Ege Gurun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 10: A woman rat the site of an explosion close to Ankara's main train station on October 10, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. An explosion hit Ankara train station Saturday morning leaving 30 people dead and 126 injured, as many people gathered outside the station for a peace demonstration to be held in nearby at Sihhiye Square. (Photo by Binnur Ege Gurun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 10: People are seen at the site of an explosion close to Ankara's main train station on October 10, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. An explosion hit Ankara train station Saturday morning leaving dozens of people dead and injured, as many people gathered outside the station for a peace demonstration to be held in nearby at Sihhiye Square. (Photo by Ercin Top/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
An injured person is caried away following a blast at a peace rally in Ankara on October 10, 2015. At least 30 people were feared dead in twin explosions in Turkey's capital Ankara, targeting activists gathering for a peace rally organised by leftist and pro-Kurdish groups. AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN (Photo credit should read ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 10: People carry a wounded person at the site of an explosion close to Ankara's main train station on October 10, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. An explosion hit Ankara train station Saturday morning leaving dozens of people dead and injured, as many people gathered outside the station for a demonstration to be held in nearby at Sihhiye Square. (Photo by Serhan Bascuhadar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 10: A view of the site of an explosion close to Ankara's main train station on October 10, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. An explosion hit Ankara train station Saturday morning leaving dozens of people dead and injured, as many people gathered outside the station for a demonstration to be held in nearby at Sihhiye Square. (Photo by Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
People surround the area where bodies of victims are covered with flags and banners at the site of an explosion in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. Two bomb explosions apparently targeting a peace rally in Turkey's capital Ankara on Saturday has killed over a dozen people, a news agency and witnesses said. The explosions occurred minutes apart near Ankara's train station as people gathered for the rally organized by the country's public sector workers' trade union. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
People carry a wounded person from the area of an explosion in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. Two bomb explosions apparently targeting a peace rally in Turkey's capital Ankara on Saturday has killed over 10 people, a news agency and witnesses said. The explosions occurred minutes apart near Ankara's train station as people gathered for the rally organized by the country's public sector workers' trade union. (AP Photo/DHA) TURKEY OUT
Bodies of victims are covered with flags and banners at the site of an explosion in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. Two bomb explosions apparently targeting a peace rally in Turkey's capital Ankara on Saturday has killed over a dozen people, a news agency and witnesses said. The explosions occurred minutes apart near Ankara's train station as people gathered for the rally organized by the country's public sector workers' trade union. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 10: A woman reacts at the site of an explosion close to Ankara's main train station on October 10, 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. An explosion hit Ankara train station Saturday morning leaving dozens of people dead and injured, as many people gathered outside the station for a peace demonstration to be held in nearby at Sihhiye Square. (Photo by Ege Gurun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
People walk amongs the bodies of people killed in a blast at a peace rally in Ankara on October 10, 2015. At least 30 people were feared dead in twin explosions in Turkey's capital Ankara, targeting activists gathering for a peace rally organised by leftist and pro-Kurdish groups. AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN (Photo credit should read ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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"The necessary work is being conducted to identify those behind the attack and quickly bring them to justice," a statement said.

Relatives and friends of the casualties waited anxiously on Sunday morning outside the hospitals where the wounded were being treated.

The two blasts happened seconds apart on Saturday morning as crowds, including pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) activists, leftists, labor unions and other civic groups, gathered for a march to protest over the deaths of hundreds since conflict resumed between security forces and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the mainly Kurdish southeast.

HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas blamed the government in blunt terms. He said on Saturday the attack was part of the same campaign as the bombing of an HDP rally in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir on the eve of June elections and a suicide bombing blamed on Islamic State in Suruc near the Syrian border in July, which killed 33 mostly young pro-Kurdish activists.

Hours after the bombing, the PKK, as widely expected beforehand, ordered its fighters to halt operations in Turkey unless they faced attack. It said it would avoid acts that could hinder a "fair and just election" on Nov. 1.

(Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

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