Diyarbakir police compound blast result of ′terror attack′ after all | News | DW | 12.04.2017
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Diyarbakir police compound blast result of 'terror attack' after all

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has gone back on earlier remarks after initially saying Tuesday's blast in Diyarbakir was the result of an accident. A police officer and two civilians were killed.

Tuesday's explosion inside a police compound workshop in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir was the result of a "terror attack," Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told local television.

Soylu had initially announced after the blast that it appeared to have been accidental, saying there were no signs of any "outside intervention."

Karte Türkei Diyarbakir ENG

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However, speaking to Haber Turk television on Wednesday, the minister said that new evidence showed that assailants had dug a tunnel in Diyarbakir's Baglar district and placed explosives beneath the police complex's vehicle repair facility. The explosion went off as an armored police vehicle was being repaired, killing three people, including a police officer, and injuring 12.

"Last night, it became clear that it was a terror attack," Soylu said. "They carried it out with a tunnel dug from outside (the police station)."

Soylu refused to say who was suspected of perpetrating the attack, although the private DHA news agency reported that five people had been detained in connection with the incident.

Türkei Explosion in Diyarbakir (Getty Images/AFP/I. Akengin)

The southeastern city of Diyarbakir has been rocked by a series of attacks in recent months, perpetrated by the PKK and IS

Turkey has been rocked by a series of bomb attacks perpetrated by Kurdish militant forces, namely the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), and extremists from the so-called "Islamic State" jihadist group. 

Tuesday's attack comes just five days before Turkey holds a controversial referendum vote seeking to expand the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The southeast has come out strongly against the Erdogan regime's quest to consolidate power.

More than 2,700 members of pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) and its sister organizations have been detained or arrested since 2015, when a ceasefire and peace process broke down between the state and the PKK, reigniting violence.

Infografik Anschläge in Türkei 2015 - April 2017 ENG

dm/rt (AP, Reuters, dpa)