May 18, 8:54 AM EDT

6 injured in simultaneous explosions in pro-Kurdish party offices in Turkey



Buy AP Photo Reprints

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Less than three weeks before Turkey's general election, two separate explosions in buildings housing the local headquarters of a pro-Kurdish political party injured at least six people, the party said.

The explosions in the local branches of the People's Democratic Party, or HDP, in the southern cities of Adana and Mersin, occurred some 10 minutes apart. Six executives and workers of the party's local offices were hurt in Adana, the HDP said in a statement.

The private Dogan news agency said the explosions were caused by bombs placed in a package delivered to the Adana branch and a pot of flowers left outside the door of the Mersin branch.

The HDP is expected to play a key role in Turkey's general election on June 7.

If it passes a 10-percent threshold it could prevent the ruling party from getting a sufficient majority in parliament to allow it to change the constitution - effectively thwarting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's plans of turning Turkey's parliamentary system into a system with an all-powerful president.

The attack on the Mersin office came hours before HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas was scheduled to visit the city to deliver a speech and the day after he held an election rally in Adana.

The HDP said the attack was aimed at disrupting the party's election campaign.

It held Erdogan and ruling-party officials responsible, saying they had turned the HDP into a target for attacks during their election rallies.

Erdogan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, condemned the attack, saying it was an assault on all political parties.

Kalin however, rejected the HDP's accusations against the Turkish leader saying to make such claims before the investigation was concluded was "unacceptable."

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.