Deadly explosion hits Turkey’s southeast Diyarbakir city

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey,  The Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, rebel group has been accused of carrying out a car bomb attack that killed at least nine people and injured dozens in Turkey’s southeast city of Diyarbakir, local officials said.

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People look at debris caused by an explosion in Diyarbakir, Turkey, on Friday. At least nine people were killed and several others were injured. The blast, apparently targeting a police station, was said to have happened hours after the arrest of the co-leaders of the pro-Kurdish and pro-minority political party Peoples’ Democratic Party, or HDP, Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas, and at least nine other members of Parliament as part of a counter-terrorism investigation following a police raid in the HDP party headquarters in Ankara. The HDP is accused by the Turkish government to have links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, group, an accusation the HDP denies. Photo by Handout/EPA

The Diyarbakir provincial governor’s office said the explosion targeted a police facility in Diyarbakir’s Baglar district at 7:53 a.m. Friday. Among the dead were two police officers, six civilians and one militant, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said.

The explosion happened hours after the arrest of the co-leaders of the pro-Kurdish and pro-minority political party Peoples’ Democratic Party, or HDP, Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas.

At least nine other members of Parliament were also arrested as part of a counter-terrorism investigation following a police raid in the HDP party headquarters in Ankara.

The HDP is accused by the Turkish government of having links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, group, an accusation the HDP denies. Violence tied to the PKK, which is fighting for more Kurdish autonomy in the region, has left more than 40,000 people dead since the 1980s.

By Andrew V. Pestano