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Istanbul attacks: over 100 held in raids targeting pro-Kurdish opposition

Istanbul attacks: over 100 held in raids targeting pro-Kurdish opposition
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By Alasdair Sandford with Reuters
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Turkish police arrest scores of people in raids targeting the HDP opposition, as the death toll from Saturday's attacks rises.

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In Turkey 118 people have been arrested in raids targeting officials from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) over allegations of links to PKK militants, according to state-run media.

The operations were launched after the TAK, an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdish group the PKK, claimed responsibility for Saturday’s twin bombings in Istanbul.

The authorities say the number killed has risen to 44, including 36 police officers. Around 150 were injured in the blasts outside a football stadium.

As funerals took place for the police officers killed, the Turkish government vowed vengeance against those it believed were behind the attacks. President Erdogan has promised that those responsible will pay a “heavy price”.

The pro-Kurdish HDP has condemned the attack but also urged the government to end what it called its language and politics of “polarisation, hostility and conflict”.

However many of its officials now find themselves in custody, notably after raids in Istanbul and southern Turkey.

Some leaders of the second-largest opposition group in parliament have already been jailed pending trial over alleged ties to the PKK – which many Turks believe was really behind the attacks.

There’s also a sense of grievance at a perceived lack of sympathy particularly in the West, despite numerous atrocities.

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