Europe

Turkey attacks: Blasts targeting police and soldiers kill at least 12

Damage from blast in Elazig (18 August) Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The blast in Elazig destroyed the police station and nearby vehicles

At least 12 people have been killed and 219 wounded in three bomb attacks in Turkey's southeast.

Blasts at police stations in Van and Elazig killed four police officers and two civilians, reports said.

Five soldiers and a village guard died when their vehicle was targeted in Bitlis province.

Turkish officials blamed the Kurdish militant group, the PKK, for the attacks, which took place outside Kurdish majority areas in the region.

"Our fight against terror will never cease," said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The PKK has carried a series of bombings targeting the police in the largely Kurdish south-east since a ceasefire with the government broke down last year.

Last week, PKK commander Cemil Bayik threatened increased attacks against police in Turkish cities.

Ongoing conflict

Television footage showed plumes of smoke rising above the destroyed police building in Elazig.

The force of the blast blew out nearby cars, uprooted trees and left a large crater outside the building.

The bombing in Van struck near a hall where a wedding party was in progression, sending the bride and groom and their guests fleeing in panic, AFP news agency reported.

At least eight people were killed in two attacks on police vehicles in nearby Diyarbakir and Kiziltepe last week.

Since last month's failed coup in Turkey, there has been much talk of national unity.

But this has not included the pro-Kurdish political party which the Turkish authorities say supports the PKK, reports the BBC's Turkey correspondent Mark Lowen.

The pro-Kurdish HDP denies any link to the militants.

More than 180 PKK militants had been killed and 3,000 detained since the coup bid, Mr Erdogan said.

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