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3 Bomb Attacks in Turkey Kill 11, Injure 300

Erdogan and Merkel

Three bomb attacks this week in Turkey have led to 11 fatalities and 300 people getting injured, local media report.

The attacks, all in the eastern part of the country, were all targeted against security forces personnel. Two of the attacks occurred at police stations, in Elazig and Van, and one was a roadside bomb attack on a military vehicle in the province of Bitlis.

This latest attack was the smallest in scope, but still ended with five soldiers dead and four wounded. The soldiers were returning from a clash between army forces and PKK – the Kurdistan Workers’ Party that Ankara has been fighting for decades. In the clash itself, one village guard was killed and a soldier was wounded.

On Thursday, a car bomb blew up the police station in Elazig early in the morning, killing three officers and injuring 2017, of them 145 still in hospital. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told media that there was no question that PKK was behind the attack.

The first attack took place on Wednesday in Van and again involved a car bomb set by the police station. This one resulted in three people killed and at least 73 injured. Again, the authorities said that the attack was the doing of the PKK.

Clashes between Turkish security forces and the PKK have increased in frequency over the last year, after a ceasefire between Ankara and the Kurdish organization fell through and militant activity resumed.

In a bid to curb opportunities for bomb-making, the country earlier this year introduced new, stricter rules for using liquefied gas cylinders – a common fixture in many households in that part of the world. In addition to online tracking of consumption and the introduction of QR codes and serial numbers, the authorities also instituted a temporary suspension on fertilizer sales (ammonium nitrate is easy to obtain and make bombs with) and obliged gas cylinder users to return the empty one when they need a full cylinder.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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