June 9, 2016 10:00:58 am
Five people including a pregnant policewoman were killed in a car bombing in Kurdish majority southeastern Turkey, a day after a deadly attack hit Istanbul.
Both bombings targeted Turkish police and have been blamed on Kurdish rebels who have been waging an insurgency against the state since decades.
A massive plume of black smoke rose from the rubble of the police station after yesterday’s attack in the town of Midyat near the Syrian border.
A spokesman for the Turkish presidency, Ibrahim Kalin, said it was too early to attribute blame but Prime Minister Binali Yildirim blamed the “killer PKK”, referring to the outlawed rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party.
“We will fight them both in urban centres and rural areas with determination,” he said.
The Anatolia news agency said dead included two police officers, including a pregnant woman. At least 51 people were injured.
The car – loaded with half a tonne of explosives – drove at the Midyat police station and blew up when police opened fire to stop it, the private Dogan news agency reported.
Turkey remains on high alert after multiple attacks on its soil that have killed well over 200 people in the past year and have been blamed on, or claimed by, Kurdish rebels and Islamic State (IS) jihadists.
On Tuesday, a car bombing in the heart of Istanbul killed 11 people, including six police officers and five civilians, the latest in a spate of attacks in Turkey’s largest city.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pointed the finger at Kurdish militants for that attack.
“Thousands of heroes” were ready to “defend their people and their country with their lives” against “terrorists”, he said in Ankara yesterday.
Yildirim, along with former president Abdullah Gul and opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu attended the funeral yesterday of the slain Istanbul police officers.
Their coffins were draped with red and white Turkish flags as mourners shouted: “Damn terror” and “Martyrs never die and the homeland will never be divided.”
A group of mourners staged a protest against Kilicdaroglu, who heads the secular Republican People’s Party (CHP), tearing up a wreath he had laid for the victims shouting, “You are a killer!”
Kilicdaroglu has been accused in some quarters of failing to give enough support to the government’s Kurdish policy.
The CHP leader lashed out at what he termed a couple of “provocateurs” after the prayers and said one of them hurled a bullet at him before being detained by a plainclothes officer.
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