Eight killed, over 100 wounded by PKK bombing in Turkey's southeast: PM

Écrit par  Touwensa.com
Publié dans: 04 novembre 2016
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Women and children walk away from a damaged building at the site of an explosion in Diyarbakir, southeast Turkey on November 4, 2016 Women and children walk away from a damaged building at the site of an explosion in Diyarbakir, southeast Turkey on November 4, 2016

Blast comes hours after pro-Kurdish leaders detained as part of a terror investigation

At least eight people were killed, including two police, and 100 injured in a powerful explosion outside a police building Friday in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said.

The local governor's office said in a statement that the cause of the blast "seems to be a car bomb used by members of the separatist terrorist organisation", a reference to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The blast, which Yildirim also said was carried out by the PKK, targeted a police headquarters hours after top Kurdish politicians were detained in an unprecedented police crackdown, in a major escalation of a broader crackdown against leading Kurds.

The explosion could be heard several kilometers away and a thick column of white smoke was seen rising from the site of the explosion. Gunshots were heard after the blast.

Several ambulances were dispatched to the scene of the blast, which heavily damaged several residential buildings.
Pro-Kurdish leaders detained

Earlier Friday, police detained Selahattin Demirtas of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) at his home in Diyarbakir while his co-chairperson Figen Yuksekdag was held in Ankara as part of a terror investigation, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Their detention appeared part of a large-scale operation against the HDP, which is the third largest party in the Turkish parliament with 59 seats and the main political representative of the Kurdish minority.

The EU expressed concern over the leaders' arrests and contacted Ankara on the issue, the bloc's foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini said Friday.

"Extremely worried for arrest of @hdpdemirtas & other @HDPgenelmerkezi MPs. In contact with authorities. Called EU ambassadors meeting in Ankara," Mogerhini tweeted.

Germany on Friday summoned the Turkish envoy over the arrests, warning that a crackdown against terror should not be used as an excuse to silence the opposition.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier "summoned Turkey's envoy to the foreign ministry," said a ministry source, pointing out that while Ankara "has the right to counter the threat of terrorism ... that should not serve as a justification to muzzle the opposition or to put them behind bars".

NTV television said the pair were accused of spreading propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) while Anadolu said Demirtas was accused of provoking violence in deadly protests in October 2014.

The raids come as Turkey remains under a state of emergency imposed in the wake of the July 15 failed coup, which critics say has gone well beyond targeting the actual coup plotters.
Thirteen staff from the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper, including the editor-in-chief, were detained on Monday, further heightening strains in Turkish society.

Tensions have surged in the Kurdish-dominated southeast since a fragile ceasefire declared by the PKK collapsed in 2015.

It has since stepped up its insurgency against the Turkish security forces, staging regular attacks that have claimed hundreds of lives among the military and the police.

The HDP seeks to promote the cause of Turkey's Kurdish minority and defend the rights of Kurds as well as those of women, gays and workers.

But the authorities accuse the party of being a front for the PKK and failing to distance itself from terror, claims it has always vehemently denied.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has launched repeated personal attacks on Demirtas, who analysts have seen as the sole politician in Turkey who comes anywhere near to rivaling his charisma.

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