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Ankara attack draws Benghazi comparisons

Feb. 1, 2013 at 1:57 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce said a terrorist attack Friday in Turkey highlights the need for a foreign security review.

Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, confirmed via Twitter that a "terrorist blast" struck a check point near the perimeter of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.

"We are working with Turkish national police to make a full assessment of damage and casualties (and to) begin (an) investigation," she stated.

The U.S. consulate in Turkey issued a "wardens message" Friday warning U.S. citizens of the potential for violence in the country.

Royce, R-Calif., said the attacks Friday were a reminder that terrorists see U.S. diplomatic installations as targets of interest.

"Coming after Benghazi, it underscores the need for a comprehensive review of security at our diplomatic posts," he said in a statement. "The committee stands ready to assist the State Department in protecting our diplomats."

Terrorists were blamed for a Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. That attack left U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three staff members dead.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during heated Senate testimony last month, disputed allegations that security lapses may have contributed to the deadly attacks in Benghazi.

The U.S. State Department had issued travel warnings prior to the Benghazi attack and the International Red Cross had pulled staff from the region given rising violence.

The attack Friday in Ankara was the first such incident there this decade.

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