26 people detained after Turkey car bomb attack
ISTANBUL (AP) -- Turkish officials say 26 people have been detained following a car bomb attack, which killed two people in the southeast of the country.
The car bomb exploded Friday near the lodgings of judges and prosecutors in the mainly Kurdish town of Viransehir in Sanliurfa province, bordering Syria. Footage from the scene showed a heavily damaged building and wrecked cars.
In a news conference at the town's courthouse Saturday, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the explosion killed the 11-year-old son of a court clerk and a 27-year-old neighborhood guard.
Eleven people remain hospitalized including the public prosecutor's wife, stated the minister. Two are in critical condition.
The governor's office announced Saturday that 26 people who have been detained include the owner of the van, which was loaded with explosives and parked near the government housing.
Governor Gungor Azim Tuna told state-run Anadolu news agency that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, is responsible.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence met with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in Germany and expressed his condolences for the attack. "The Vice President reiterated the United States' commitment to Turkey as a strategic partner and NATO ally," a White House statement said.
Turkey has been hit by a series of violent attacks since the summer of 2015, which were blamed on the Islamic State group or Kurdish militants. More than 550 people have been killed in these attacks.
The PKK has targeted security personnel and state buildings with car bombs since a cease-fire collapsed in 2015. Turkey and its Western allies consider the group a terrorist organization.
According to the non-profit International Crisis Group, at least 2,571 people have been killed in armed clashes since, including civilians, state security force members, Kurdish militants and youth of unknown affiliations.