Ankara: A powerful blast that shook an area near the Turkish city of Diyarbakir on Thursday killed four “bombmakers” and injured at least 10 other people, the interior ministry said.
The blast happened in the area of Sarikamis on the outskirts of the majority Kurdish city “while PKK militants loaded explosives onto a stolen truck”, the ministry said, referring to the Kurdistan Workers Party. “The explosives detonated prematurely,” the ministry said. “The injured were civilians, according to initial findings,” it added.
An AFP correspondent in Diyarbakir said the impact of the blast was felt in several neighbourhoods of the city. The explosion came hours after at least eight people including soldiers were injured by a remotely-detonated car bomb aimed at a military vehicle in Istanbul, according to the local governor’s office.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the car bomb. Fighting between Turkish security forces and the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organisation by Ankara and its Western allies, erupted last summer after the collapse of a two-year ceasefire?
Turkey is on edge after two deadly attacks in Istanbul this year blamed on Islamic State (IS) jihadists, and a pair of attacks in Ankara that were claimed by Kurdish militants and killed dozens.
Three people were killed Tuesday and 42 others wounded when a car bomb blamed on PKK militants struck a police vehicle in Diyarbakir. The two attacks in Ankara were claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) — a radical splinter group of the better-known PKK.
More than 40,000 have been killed since the PKK took up arms in 1984 demanding a homeland for Turkey’s biggest minority. Since then, the group has pared back its demands to focus on cultural rights and a measure of autonomy.