Explosion Hits Turkish Town of Van, Wounding 27


Ankara: At least 27 people have been wounded in Turkey in a car bomb explosion targeting the provincial offices of the ruling AK Party in the country’s eastern city of Van.

The explosion struck the AK building in a central district in Van on Monday. It took place in the heart of the bustling city, between the ruling AKP’s offices and those of the governor.

A Turkish official said 27 people were wounded, two critically. It was not immediately clear who was behind the blast that took place on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Turkey’s southeast has been witnessing several bombings and other attacks since last year, when the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) withdrew from a ceasefire agreement with the Turkish government.

On Saturday, Turkish officials said they had thwarted an assassination attempt against the deputy chairman of the ruling AK party, Mehdi Eker.

There were no immediate official reports on who or what group may have been behind the plot. However, Turkish media accused the PKK of planning the attack.

Ankara has been engaged in a large-scale anti-PKK campaign in its southern border region over the past few months. The Turkish military has also been pounding Kurdish militant positions in northern Iraq and Syria as well.