ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – An armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on Wednesday claimed responsibility for a blast in the yard of a Turkish police headquarters in the Kurdish city of Diyarbakir on Tuesday.
The explosion killed three people and wounded 10 others.
In a press release on its website, PKK’s People’s Defense Forces (HPG) said the attack was in response to an alliance between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
The large explosion came as the AKP and the minority opposition MHP were campaigning for a “yes” vote in a referendum this Sunday whether to grant President Recep Tayyip Erdogan executive powers.
The PKK release accused both parties of working to consolidate a “fascist system.”
It also highlighted mass arrests, political purges, allegations of torture in prisons, as well as recent army operations as justification for the attack.
The Turkish government has taken a more pro-active military strategy against the PKK guerrillas in their mountain hideouts this past winter.
The PKK statement added they had sent a message to the government whose ministers often vow in front of masses to wipe out the Kurdish fighters in the run-up to the referendum.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu initially said the Tuesday explosion could be the result of a technical accident while police and civilian personnel were repairing an armored vehicle, panzer.
Soylu later revealed investigators had concluded the attack to be one of “terror.”
However, Turkish authorities did not readily name the PKK as the perpetrator.
In the aftermath of the explosion, police arrested 172 people, according to a statement by the Ankara-appointed Governor of Diyarbakir.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany