Explosion hits Elazig police headquarters in eastern Turkey

On Thursday, an explosion hit a police headquarters in Turkey's eastern city of Elazig.

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Kurdistan24) - On Thursday, an explosion hit a police headquarters in Turkey's eastern city of Elazig.

Kurdistan24 office in Diyarbakir reported that dozens were injured in the explosion and several buildings around the scene were damaged.

According to a Kurdistan24 correspondent in Elazig, the initial death toll was three, and about 100 were injured in the explosion.

Dozens of ambulances were dispatched to the scene. 

Witnesses reported that a car bomb was detonated in front of the police headquarters building, and several cars parked nearby also burned as a result of the explosion.

A few hours later, the casualty toll reached at least 170 people, including 3 policemen. Fourteen wounded were in a critical condition, according to Elazig governor Murat Zorluoglu.

Turkey's leading secular media Hurriyet Daily News and Reuters reported that Defense Minister Fikri Isık accused the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), but no group has so far claimed the responsibility for the explosion.

"The people see the real face of the PKK," Isik said.

The explosion came a few hours after a blast hit the city of Van in Turkey’s Kurdistan (Bakur) when a car bomb exploded near a police station.

In the Van blast, the local governor's office said in a statement that two police officers and one civilian were killed and 73 were wounded.

Van Governor Ibrahim Tasyapan told the Turkish state-run press agency Anadolu Agency (AA) that the PKK was responsible for the attack in Van.

“Tasyapan said one suspect was caught during an operation launched after the attack and confirmed that many buildings in the area were damaged,” AA reported on Wednesday.

On Friday, Netherlands-based Kurdish Firat News Agency (ANF), a close associate to PKK’s military wing HPG, reported the final casualty toll of Elazig explosion.

"HPG official stated that in Elazig explosion, 105 policemen were killed and 155 policemen were wounded," ANF reported.

Turkey’s southeast has been scorched by violence since a ceasefire between the PKK and the government collapsed last July. Round-the-clock curfews were instituted in parts of Bakur.


Editing by Ava Homa