One killed, more than 30 wounded in car-bomb blast in southeast Turkey


ANKARA: A blast that killed one and injured over 30 people in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir on Friday was caused by a car bomb, the provincial governor’s office said, adding Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants were believed to be responsible.

It said in a written statement that the blast occurred around 8 am (0500 GMT) near a police facility in the Baglar district of Diyarbakir, the largest city in the mainly Kurdish southeast.

The attack followed the overnight arrests of 11 lawmakers from the Peoples´ Democratic Party (HDP), whose base is largely drawn from Kurds in the region, as well as leftists and progressives throughout Turkey.

The explosion could be heard several kilometres (miles) away and a thick column of white smoke was seen rising from the scene of the blast.

Gunshots were heard after the initial explosion, which left around 20 people wounded, two of them seriously, security officials told AFP, asking not to be named.

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.

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.

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