A total of seven forestry workers were killed and 10 more were injured in an explosion in the southeastern Diyarbakir province, the T24 news portal reported on Thursday.
According to a statement by the Diyarbakir Governor’s Office, a vehicle carrying the workers to collect wood from a forest in the Kulp district on Thursday was struck in an explosion at around 6 pm local time.
While four people died immediately after the incident, another three workers, who were heavily wounded and receiving treatment at a local hospital, also lost their lives.
Currently, there are 10 people receiving treatment at the hospitals with four of them suffering severe injuries.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) said on Thursday the bombing attack had been carried out by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
AA also reported that Diyarbakir Governor Hasan Basri Guzeloglu updated the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the explosion and that he promised that all means would be used to find the perpetrators of the attack.
As part of an investigation into the explosion, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Kulp district co-chair and civil Works director of Kulp Municipality have been taken into custody.
Consequently, the HDP released a statement condemning the attack “in the strongest possible terms” and denouncing the detention of their members, Bianet reported.
“The detention of our district chair and the house raid against our co-mayor today are the first indications that they are after a perception [management] operation rather than a serious investigation,” HDP Co-Chairs Sezai Temelli and Pervin Buldan said in the statement.
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has recently stepped up pressure on Kurdish groups and politicians.
The Ministry of the Interior announced early on August 19 that the government dismissed three mayors from their offices over alleged links to the PKK, and arrested more than 400 people as part of a major investigation into the matter.
The mayors of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van provinces, who are members of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and were elected during the March 31 local poll were replaced with state-appointed officials amid a deepening crackdown on the pro-Kurdish party.
The ministry further indicated that it had active cases against the mayors for “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization or “being members of a terrorist organization.”