Seven police die in car bomb attack in southeastern Turkey

Car bomb targets police vehicle in Turkey’s Diyarbakir Province, leading to seven police deaths and wounding 13 police officers and 14 civilians

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Forensic experts inspect the area after a car bomb attack targeting a minibus carrying members of the police special forces took place in Diyarbakir, Turkey, March 31, 2016.

Updated Apr 1, 2016

At least seven police officers have died and 27 others - 13 police and 14 civilians - were injured on Thursday evening in Turkey’s Diyarbakir Province after a car bomb was detonated as an armoured police vehicle was passing by.

A loud explosion was heard near the intercity bus terminal of Diyarbakir as a vehicle carrying special operations police was returning back from a routine patrol, according to security sources.

The Diyarbakir prosecutor's office, in charge of investigating the attack, said it suspected a parked car bomb was detonated when the vehicle was passing by. 

Numerous cars near the site of the explosion, the Intercity bus terminal and other buildings were also damaged. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the deadly attack and said it showed "terrorism's ugly face again."

"The determination of our security forces will, God willing, put an end" to terrorism, he said in a speech to the Brookings Institute. President Erdogan is currently in the United States for a nuclear security summit.

The attack in Diyarbakir came a day before Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s planned visit to the city in which he will perform Friday prayers. He has pledged to visit all the cities in the southeast of the country.

Three Turkish ministers - Development Minister Cevdet Yilmaz, Environment and Urban Planning Minister Fatma Güldemet Sari, and Minister of Culture Mahir Unal were also in the city when the attack took place.

The PKK – listed as a terrorist organisation by the US and the EU - was established by Abdullah Ocalan and his supporters in 1974 in Ankara and the group began launching terror attacks in 1984.

Armed clashes and acts of violence related to the conflict have continued on and off for more than 30 years and claimed more than 40,000 lives.

TRTWorld, AA