Nine people were injured after a bomb hit an armoured police van in southeastern Turkey on Friday, reviving fears of new unrest in the mainly Kurdish region.

According to the local governor’s office, eight police officers and another person were victims in the attack near the city of Diyarbakir.

The wounded persons were rushed to the hospital as a “precaution”, a statement said, adding that their injuries were not life-threatening.

It added that the blast occurred near a livestock market some 10 kilometres south of the centre of Diyarbakir, the largest city in southeastern Turkey.

Television images showed a white bus standing on a debris-strewn road with its luggage compartment heavily damaged.

The mangled remains of a smaller vehicle stood nearby. There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

Meanwhile, the latest blast on a road between Diyarbakir and the city of Mardin was the first in the region reported by officials in more than five years.

It came with Turkey stepping up air strikes against Kurdish forces in northern Syria and continuing its limited ground campaign in Iraq.

Turkish President Erdogan had threatened to launch a new ground offensive in northern Syria after a November bombing killed six people in Istanbul.

Last Sunday, he told Russian President Vladimir Putin — a key player in the Syrian conflict — to “cleanse” Kurdish forces from the border region.

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and its Western allies, has claimed some of the past bombings in the region.

It has been waging a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state that has killed tens of thousands of civilians and security personnel.

Turkey blamed fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for the November Istanbul blast, but no group claimed responsibility. The PKK and the group Turkey believes to be its Syrian affiliate, the People’s Protection Units (YPG) denied involvement.

The PKK launched an armed uprising against the Turkish state in 1984, largely focused in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.


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