48 injured in vehicle explosion targeting Turkey’s police, government

VAN, Turkey, Sept. 12 (UPI) — An explosion occurred in southeastern Turkey’s Van province on Monday at a police station near the governor’s office and a ruling government party headquarters, injuring 48 people including two police officers, the Van governor’s office said.

Anadolu Agency, which is run by the Turkish government, reported a bomb-filled vehicle exploded at about 10:50 a.m. local time near the police station in front of a building of the Justice and Development Party, or AK Party — to which Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan belong.

At least two people were in a critical condition. The building and a nearby hotel were heavily damaged. Firefighters extinguished a fire caused by the explosion.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the explosion but Turkish security forces have blamed the militant Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, rebel group.

The PKK is designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. Violence tied to the PKK, which is fighting for more Kurdish autonomy in the region, has left more than 40,000 people dead since the 1980s.

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