KQV AM 1410

Jun 13, 8:34 AM EDT

Report: 9 injured in car bomb explosion in southeast Turkey


ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- A car-bomb attack apparently targeting court officials in a town in Turkey's mainly-Kurdish southeast region injured at least nine people Monday, the country's state-run news agency reported.

The explosion occurred close to housing for courthouse employees in the town of Ovacik, in Tunceli province, Anadolu Agency reported.

Three of the wounded were in serious condition. A police officer was among those wounded, the report said.

The explosion caused several small fires which were quickly extinguished, Anadolu added.

There was no immediate responsibility claim for the attack which came a week after two car bomb explosions killed 17 in Istanbul and the southern town of Midyat. Both attacks were claimed by Kurdish militants.

The militant Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, considered an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, claimed responsibility for a car-bomb attack that targeted a police vehicle in Istanbul and killed six police officers and five civilians.

Istanbul's bombing was followed a day later by a suicide attack targeting the police headquarters in the southeastern town of Midyat that killed three police officers and three civilians. The PKK claimed that attack.

Turkey's southeast region was plunged into violence last summer after peace talks between the state and the Kurdish rebels collapsed. The Islamic State group has also carried out bombings in the country in the past year.

The PKK routinely attacks military and police targets in the southeast, where large-scale security operations to root out Kurdish militants have left hundreds dead, displaced entire communities and caused extensive damage to urban infrastructure.

The PKK, labeled a terror organization by Turkey and its allies, is fighting for autonomy for Turkey's Kurds in the southeast. The decades-long conflict has claimed 40,000 lives.

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