Reuters and AFP
© Ilyas Akengin, AFP | A car bomb ripped through a building in Diyarbakir, Turkey on Nov. 4, 2016.
The blast occurred in Diyarbakir’s Baglar district, near a building that is an annex of the city’s police headquarters, according to a statement by the provincial governor’s office.
It tore off the facades of buildings and firefighters are searching debris for victims.
Friday’s blast had all the hallmarks of a Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attack, since the leftist group frequently targets the Turkish security services. The PKK is deemed a Kurdish terrorist organisation by Turkey, EU and the US.
The attack came hours after the Turkish government detained 12 parliamentarians and members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), including the party’s charismatic leader, Selahattin Demirtas, after they refused to give testimony for crimes linked to “terrorist propaganda”. The police also raided the party’s headquarters in Ankara.
Demirtas is widely credited with boasting the party’s popularity with leftist voters, a strategy that earned his party a place in the Turkish parliament. But its leaders have nonetheless been politically targeted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK party, who lifted the pro-Kurdish party’s immunity earlier this year. Turkey accuses the HDP of having ties to the PKK, which the HDP vehemently denies.
Tensions high in Kurdish regions
Turkey has witnessed numerous attacks over the past two years by the Islamic State (IS) group based across the border in Syria, as well as the PKK.
The collapse of a peace process between the Turkish government and the PKK has seen an escalation of violence in Kurdish areas.
The explosion on Friday could be heard several kilometres (miles) away and a thick column of white smoke was seen rising from the scene of the blast.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)
Tags: car bomb, Demirtas, Diyarbakir, Erdogan, HDP, Iraq, Islamic state, Kurdish area, Kurdistan Workers' Party, People’s Democratic Party, PKK, Selahattin Demirtas, Syria, Turkey, Turkey accuses the HDP of having ties to the PKK, Turkish government
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