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Turkey: deadly explosion rocks Diyarbakir after HDP raids

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By Euronews
Turkey: deadly explosion rocks Diyarbakir after HDP raids

A car bomb has rocked the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir, reportedly killing at least eight people and wounding more than 100 others.

It came just hours after police detained politicians of the mostly Kurdish region’s biggest party.

PKK militants blamed

The blast struck a central area, near a police station where some of the party leaders were being held in a terrorism probe, according to sources.

It tore off the facades of buildings and firefighters were searching debris for people trapped there.

The governor’s office in Diyarbakir says militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, are believed to be behind the attack.

HDP raids

Police raided the homes and detained the joint leaders of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the second biggest opposition party in the national parliament, and nine other HDP lawmakers early on Friday – after they reportedly refused to give testimony for alleged crimes linked to “terrorist propaganda.”

President Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling AK Party accuse the HDP of links to the PKK, which is deemed a terrorist organisation by the US and the EU. The HDP denies any direct links.

State of emergency

Turkey’s been in a state of emergency since a failed coup in July. More than 110,000 civil servants, soldiers, police, judges, journalists and other officials have been suspended or detained in a subsequent purge.

The authorities have also used the emergency powers to round up pro-Kurdish opposition politicians, including Diyabakir’s joint mayors, who were detained last month. All major Kurdish media outlets have also been closed.