Diyarbakir / AFP
One Turkish soldier was killed and 20 others were wounded when a car bomb blamed on Kurdish militants exploded in the Kurdish-majority southeast, the army said on Monday.
In a statement, the army said a total of 23 people were wounded in the blast which took place late on Sunday, 20 of them soldiers and three of them civilian family members.
The car bomb detonated near a military command complex in the Dicle district of the Kurdish majority province of Diyarbakir, a security source said, blaming the attack on the outlawed Kurdistan Workersâ€™ Party (PKK).
The command post and an adjacent housing area for families was seriously damaged in the attack, the Dogan news agency reported.
Police stopped a suspicious car after the attack but the suspects inside opened fire, injuring a judge and three police officers before they fled, the agency said.
Turkey has been waging a major military offensive against the PKK, listed as a terror group by Ankara and much of the international community, after a two-year fragile ceasefire collapsed last summer. Since then, hundreds of members of the Turkish security forces have been killed.
The renewed conflict has also struck at the heart of the country, with two attacks that killed dozens of people in the capital Ankara claimed by a PKK splinter group, the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK).
The same group on Sunday claimed last week’s suicide bombing in Bursa, Turkey’s former Ottoman capital, which only killed the female bomber.
Over 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK took up arms in 1984 demanding a homeland for Turkey’s biggest minority. Since then, the group has pared back its demands to focus on cultural rights and a measure of autonomy.
On Sunday, two police were killed and 22 other people were wounded in another car bomb attack in the southern city of Gaziantep, a major refugee hub, with initial suspicion for that attack falling on extremists.