11 killed after bombing on police, military in Turkey; 226 injured
A string of bombings, blamed on Kurdish rebels and targeting Turkey’s security forces, killed at least 11 people and wounded 226 others, officials said on Thursday. Two of the attacks were car bombings that hit police stations in eastern Turkey, while a third a roadside blast targeted a military vehicle carrying soldiers in the southeast of the country.
Authorities say the assaults were carried out by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has launched a campaign of car bombings targeting police stations or roadside bomb attacks security force vehicles. Last week, PKK commander Cemil Bayik threatened increased attacks against police in Turkish cities.
The wave of attacks come as Turkey is focused on a clampdown on suspected followers of a movement led by US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, which the government accuses of orchestrating a failed military coup last month, that killed at least 270 people.
The first car bombing hit a police station in the eastern province of Van late Wednesday, killing a police officer and two civilians. At least 73 other people 53 civilians and 20 police officers were wounded, officials said. Hours later, another car bombing hit police headquarters in the eastern Turkish city of Elazig early on Thursday, killing at least three police office officers and wounding 146 other people, officials said.
At least 14 of them were in serious condition. 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.
In the southeastern province of Bitlis meanwhile, four soldiers were killed after the rebels detonated a roadside improvised explosive device as an armored military vehicle was passing by, officials said. Seven other soldiers were wounded in the attack.
‘Turkey raids businesses with alleged links to Gulen’
Turkish police launched a vast operation on Thursday against businesses suspected of financing US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of masterminding last month’s attempted coup, media reported. Prosecutors issued 187 arrest warrants as part of the operation in the country’s economic capital of Istanbul and other provinces, CNN-Turk reported. It said around 1,000 police took part in the operation in 15 provinces, which included simultaneous raids in about 100 addresses in several districts of Istanbul. The suspects are accused of financing the activities of Gulen, blamed by authorities for orchestrating the July 15 putsch. In a similar operation on Tuesday, Turkish police raided dozens of companies in Istanbul in search of 120 suspects.