(AFP) Around 20 people were wounded when a blast struck outside a police building early Friday in Turkey’s southeastern city of Diyarbakir, the centre of the country’s Kurdish minority, security officials said.
The explosion occurred just hours after police detained the two co-leaders of the country’s main pro-Kurdish party and several other MPs in a major escalation of a broader crackdown against leading Kurds.
An AFP reporter said that several ambulances were dispatched to the scene of the blast, the cause of which was not immediately clear.
The explosion could be heard several kilometres (miles) away and a thick column of white smoke was seen rising from the scene of the blast.
Gunshots were heard after the initial explosion, which left around 20 people wounded, two of them seriously, security officials told AFP, asking not to be named.
Earlier Friday, police detained Selahattin Demirtas of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) at his home in Diyarbakir while his co-chairperson Figen Yuksekdag was held in Ankara as part of a terror investigation, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.
Their detention appeared part of a large-scale operation against the HDP, which is the third largest party in the Turkish parliament with 59 seats and the main political representative of the Kurdish minority.