Ankara, August 18, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
Three police officers were killed and more than 200 were wounded in a bomb attack targeting police headquarters in the eastern province of Elazığ on Aug. 18.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said three police officers were killed and 217 people, including 85 police officers and 60 civilians, were wounded in the attack. Some 72 of those wounded have been discharged from hospitals while 14 remain in a critical condition, he added. Two of them are police officers, he said.
“Terror will not take over Turkey,” Yıldırım vowed.
He also added that Turkey has raised its level of alarm after three separate attacks by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The premier canceled his programs in Ankara and visited Elazığ, accompanied by Interior Minister Efkan Ala, Defense Minister Fikri Işık, Health Minister Recep Akdağ and the Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar.
Elazığ Governor Murat Zorluoğlu had earlier said three police officers were killed in the car bomb attack and 170 were wounded, including civilians, with 14 in a critical condition.
Initial footage showed severe damage to the building. The blast also created a hole in the scene.
A bomb-laden car coming from the west was detonated while in transit in front of the building, CNN Türk has reported.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Fikri Işık said the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was behind the attack.
“Those attacks show that PKK is the tool of global powers,” Işık told Anadolu Agency.
Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş also condemned the attack, vowing that Turkey would continue to fight against terrorist organizations.
“Our fight against terrorist organizations, which have different names but are tools of the same hands, will continue without mercy until terrorism ends. It doesn’t matter whether the name of the terror organization is the PKK, DAİŞ or FETÖ,” Kurtulmuş tweeted.
In addition, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has also sent a three-person delegation to Elazığ.
Turkey’s media watchdog, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), has issued a temporary gag order on the attack.