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Car bomb hits Turkey police station in Kurdish region

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ANKARA: A car bomb ripped through a police station on Wednesday in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast, injuring several people a day after 11 were killed in an attack in Istanbul, state-run Anatolia news agency said.

A bomb attack hit the main police station in the town of Midyat near the Syrian border, said Anatolia, which blamed “terrorists” in a reference to militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Several people were injured and ambulances were dispatched to the scene after the powerful explosion, privately owned NTV television reported.

Images carried by Turkish media showed a massive plume of black smoke rising from the rubble of the severely damaged police station.

The windows of houses in the neighbourhood were shattered by the force of the explosion.

The latest attack comes a day after a bombing in the heart of Istanbul killed 11 people including several police officers.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suggested that Kurdish militants are behind it.

Violence flared last year between Kurdish rebels and government forces, shattering a 2013 ceasefire reached after secret talks between PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan and the Turkish state.

Turkey has waged an intense offensive against the PKK listed as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies, with so-called “clean-up” operations in several towns in the southeast.

Activists have accused the security forces of causing huge destruction to urban centres and killing civilians. But the government says the operations are essential for public safety, blaming the PKK for the damage.

Over 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK took up arms in 1984 demanding an independent state for Kurds. Since then the group has narrowed its demands to greater autonomy and cultural rights.

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