At 10:50 am (local time), a large car bomb detonated near the AKP municipal headquarters in Van, Turkey. According to the Police Chief Suat Ekici , out of the 48 wounded, two are critical.
Turkey’s state-run news agency is reporting that a car-bombing at a police checkpoint has wounded 48 people near the ruling party headquarters in the eastern Turkish city of Van.
The private Dogan news agency said an explosives-laden vehicle was detonated about 200 meters (650 feet) from the governor’s office in a commercial district where the AKP municipal offices are located.
Turkey’s state-run news agency says several people have been injured by an explosion near the ruling party headquarters and the governor’s office in the eastern province of Van.
Burhan Kayaturk, a member of parliament from the ruling AKP party, told private channel HaberTurk that there are 11 wounded. – Washington Post
The bombing fell on the first day of Eid- al Adha, an Islamic holiday celebrating Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael. This Eid usually is a time for celebration with family and is a considered a state holiday in Turkey.
Press TV and Daily Sabah are reporting that Turkish officials stopped an assassination attempt on the deputy chairman of the ruling AKP party, Mehdi Eker on Saturday. Explosive devices were found near the family cemetery the day before he was scheduled to visit. The Daily Sabah attributes the thwarted attack to the PKK due to Eker being one of the leading figures in the fight against the PKK. Eker told the Turkish TV channel NTV that he has not missed his annual visit to the gravesite for 30 years.
Giving a reminder that Qurban Bayram (Eid al-Adha) will start on Monday he said, “I was planning to visit the family cemetery tomorrow as I do on every eve of Bayram – I haven’t missed visiting on a single eve for the past 30 years.”
Eker said that since there are always more than 100 people present during eve, there would have been a massacre tomorrow had the explosives not been found today.
The Justice and Development Party or the AKP is the ruling party and was created in 2001. It is considered one of the secular, “pro-Western” parties in Turkey. Van has been the target of multiple terrorist attacks this past year by the PKK. At this time, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack on the AKP municipal office. It is unknown at this time if the alleged assassination attempt and the AKP headquarters bombing are related.
Image courtesy of Press TV