2 policemen dead after car bomb explodes in southern Turkey

Click to play video 'Policeman killed, 13 others injured after explosion in Turkey' Policeman killed, 13 others injured after explosion in Turkey
WATCH ABOVE: An explosion near a police station in the Turkish city of Gaziantep killed a policeman and injured 13 people – May 1, 2016

ANKARA, Turkey – A car bomb struck the entrance of a Turkish police station Sunday in the southern city of Gaziantep, killing two police officers and wounding 22 other people, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency.

Four civilians were among those injured in the explosion, according to Gov. Ali Yerlikaya of Gaziantep province. The blast shattered the windows of nearby buildings.

The police station is close to offices for the governor and mayor. Gaziantep is also home to the offices of international aid organizations focused on the conflict in neighbouring Syria.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. A Turkish interior ministry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government practice, said investigations were ongoing.

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Turkey has suffered multiple bombings in recent months linked either to Kurdish militants or the Islamic State group.

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May 1 International Labor Day demonstrations in Gaziantep were cancelled for security reasons, the private Dogan news agency reported.

Speaking in Ankara, the Turkish capital, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu expressed his condolences and wished a speedy recovery to those wounded in “the heinous terrorist attack.”

Police in Ankara, meanwhile, carried out anti-terror operations overnight and detained four suspected IS members allegedly planning to attack May Day demonstrators, the Anadolu Agency reported.

In Istanbul, police imposed tight security measures and used water cannons and tear gas on May Day demonstrators who sought to rally in non-designated areas. One man died after being run over by a water cannon vehicle, according to local media.

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Click to play video 'Turkish activists try to force body bag over head of US soldier' Turkish activists try to force body bag over head of US soldier
Turkish activists try to force body bag over head of US soldier – Apr 18, 2016

Turkey, which is facing both growing blowback from the conflict in Syria and renewed conflict with Kurdish militants, has seen a rise of deadly attacks across the country. In the past year, more than 200 people across the country have been killed in six major bombings.

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In a separate incident Sunday, eight people were wounded after four rockets hit Kilis, another town near the Syrian border, the Anadolu Agency reported. Three Syrians were among the injured.

The news agency said the Turkish military retaliated by firing at IS targets across the border in Syria, killing nine militants. It was not possible to verify the agency’s claim.

Kilis, where Syrian refugees outnumber locals, has been hammered by cross-border fire since mid-January. There have been a total of 18 fatalities in that period.

The wider province of Kilis borders areas in Syria that are contested by Kurdish factions, IS militants and rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


Dominique Soguel reported from Istanbul.