Scores of people have been wounded in an explosion near the seat of the Turkish ruling party in the mostly Kurdish city of Van. The blast comes after Ankara replaced dozens of Kurdish mayors over alleged terror links.
An explosive device was detonated in the center of Van, between the governor’s office and the provincial headquarters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the Turkish news agency Dogan reported on Monday.
The explosion left at least 48 people wounded, with two of them in critical condition, the governor’s office said.
No fatalities have been reported.
Reuters cited security sources as saying that blast was caused by a car bomb, and that militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were behind the attack.
Two police officers were also among the injured, according to Van AKP lawmaker Besir Atalay.
“It’s a crowded street, the center of the boulevard,” he told the private NTV television, also accusing the PKK of the attack in the predominantly Kurdish city.
“The terrorist organization has targeted our party building and the AKP’s presence in the past,” he added.
The blast comes immediately after the government’s crackdown on Kurdish mayors in the restive southeast of Turkey, which saw 24 officials lose their seats over suspicions of colluding with Kurdish terror groups.
In recent months, Turkey was targeted in deadly attacks from both the “Islamic State” group and the PKK.
dj/kms (Reuters, dpa, AFP, AP)