Two bomb attacks blamed on Kurdish militants killed seven members of the security forces and wounded 224 people in southeast Turkey on Thursday, officials and security sources said, in a renewed escalation of violence across the region.
A car bomb ripped through a police station in the city of Elazig at 9:20 a.m. (0620 GMT) as officers arrived for work. Three police officers were killed and 217 people were wounded, 85 of them police officers, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said.
Authorities say the assaults were carried out by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has launched a campaign of car bombings targeting police stations or roadside bomb attacks security force vehicles. Last week, PKK commander Cemil Bayik threatened increased attacks against police in Turkish cities.
The wave of attacks come as Turkey is focused on a clampdown on suspected followers of a movement led by U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, which the government accuses of orchestrating a failed military coup last month, that killed at least 270 people.
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.