ANKARA, Feb 18 — A car bomb yesterday rocked the southeastern Turkish province of Sanliurfa, close to the Syrian border, killing a child and wounding 17 people, the provincial governor’s office said.
“Eighteen of our citizens have been taken to hospital, among them a 10-year-old child who lost their life,” the office said, adding that one of the injured was in a serious condition.
The explosion — which took place near a building where prosecutors are housed — struck the district of Viransehir, the office added.
Earlier the official Anadolu news agency had cited governor Gungor Azim Tuna as saying the dead child was a three-year-old boy.
The governor said the “terror attack” was caused by a parked vehicle that was loaded with explosives and detonated using a remote control, the agency reported.
The lodgings were badly damaged, the governor added, while Dogan news agency said other buildings and several cars in the area were also damaged.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Twitter that no terrorist organisation or attack would weaken Turkey’s fight against terror.
“Our determined and effective fight against terror will continue,” he said.
No group immediately claimed the attack, and Bozdag did not say which organisation the government suspected.
Turkey was hit by a series of attacks in 2016 blamed on Kurdish militants and Islamic State (IS) jihadists, killing hundreds of people. The country was also shaken by a failed military coup last July.
This year also had a bloody start, with a New Year’s attack on an elite Istanbul nightclub that left 39 people dead, most of them foreigners. The attack was claimed by IS.
Last month the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), a splinter group of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), claimed responsibility for an attack that left two dead in the Aegean city of Izmir.
The PKK has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 during which over 40,000 people have been killed. It is proscribed as a terror organisation by Ankara, the United States and the European Union.
The Turkish government says the TAK is merely a front for the better-known PKK. — AFP