Ankara, Aug 18: Two car bombings targeted police stations in Turkey, killing at least six people and injuring 219 others, officials said on Thursday (Aug 18).
A car-bombing attack on a police station in the eastern province of Van late 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 that 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 Turkish city of Elazig early today, killing at least three police office officers and wounding 146 other people, Gov. Murat Zorluoglu said. At least 14 of them were in serious condition.
Mahmut Varol, the deputy mayor for Elazig, told Haber Turk television that the explosion occurred on the grounds of the police headquarters 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-story 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 organization. Today, authorities imposed a temporary blackout on media coverage of the bombing in Elazig, citing "public order and national security" concerns. Turkey frequently imposes such bans following deadly bomb attacks.
Thursday's order asked media organizations to refrain from broadcasting and publishing anything that may cause "fear in the public, panic and disorder and which may serve the aims of terrorist organizations."