Six killed and 220 injured in Turkey car bomb attacks

Authorities search outside the damaged building of the police headquarters after the explosion yesterday. Picture by Sahismail Gezici/DHA via Associated Press

TWO car bombings targeting police stations in Turkey have killed at least six people and injured at least 219 others, officials said.

An attack on a police station in the eastern province of Van late on Wednesday killed a police officer and two civilians. At least 73 other people - 53 civilians and 20 police officers - were wounded, officials said.

Authorities blamed the attack on the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which has launched a campaign of car bombings targeting police stations or roadside bomb attacks on police vehicles. Last week, PKK commander Cemil Bayik threatened increased attacks against police in Turkish cities.

Hours later, another car bombing hit police headquarters in the eastern city of Elazig, killing at least three police office officers and injuring 146 other people, Governor Murat Zorluoglu said. At least 14 of them were in a serious condition.

Mahmut Varol, the deputy mayor of Elazig, told Haber Turk television that the explosion happened in the grounds of the police headquarters early on Thursday and caused cars parked nearby to catch fire.

Video footage showed a large plume of smoke rising from the area. Cars were overturned and the windows of the four-storey building and its wings were blown out.

Fighting between the PKK and Turkey's security forces resumed last year after a fragile peace process collapsed. Since then, more than 600 Turkish security personnel and thousands of PKK militants have been killed, according to state-run Anadolu Agency. Human rights groups say hundreds of civilians have also died in the clashes.

Tens of thousands of people have died in the conflict since the PKK took up arms for autonomy in southeast Turkey in 1984. Turkey and its allies consider the PKK a terrorist organisation.


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