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Trial of Ankara massacre suspects begins with withdrawal of 10 lawyers

Relatives of bomb-blast victims hold banners with portraits of the deceased during a memorial ceremony on June 10, 2016 in Ankara, commemorating the 6-month anniversary of the October 10 Ankara bombings. 103 people were killed and more than 500 wounded on October 10, 2015 in twin suicide bombings targeting a pro-Kurdish peace rally in Ankara. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

The trial of 36 suspects who are accused of taking part in a terrorist attack in the Turkish capital of Ankara that claimed the lives of more than 100 people last year began at an Ankara high criminal court on Monday, with 10 state-appointed lawyers withdrawing from the trial on the grounds that they do not want to defend the suspects.

A total of 103 people were killed and more than 400 were injured on Oct.10, 2015 when two Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) suicide bombers blew themselves up outside Ankara’s central train station during a demonstration calling for peace in the country. It was the biggest terrorist attack in the history of the Turkish Republic.

The first hearing in the trial of the 36 suspects began at the Ankara 4th High Criminal Court on Monday. Various prison sentences are being sought for the suspects on charges of “attempting to change the constitutional order,” “murder” and “membership in an armed terrorist organization.”

The court will make a decision concerning the request of the 10 lawyers to withdraw from the trial.

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