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Turkey: explosion at police station was 'terror attack'

Posted April 12

— An explosion that hit a police station in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir was a "terror attack" carried out with a ton of explosives planted inside a tunnel, Turkish officials said Wednesday.

The blast occurred Tuesday at a workshop inside the police complex as an armored vehicle was being repaired. A police officer and two civilian employees were killed.

The Diyarbakir governor's office said five people were detained in connection with the attack.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu had announced after the explosion that it appeared to be accidental, with no "outside intervention."

On Wednesday, however, he told Haber Turk television in an interview that investigators had concluded that it was an attack by assailants who had dug a tunnel and placed explosives beneath the vehicle repair facility.

The Diyarbakir governor's office said around a ton of explosives, including RDX, ammonium nitrate and TNT, were used, adding that the time of the detonation was pre-adjusted. The tunnel was some 30 meters (98 feet) long, it said.

"Last night, it became clear that it was a terror attack," Soylu said.

He did not say who was suspected of being behind the attack, which came as Turkey is heading toward a referendum on Sunday on whether to boost the president's powers.

Rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, who are engaged in a renewed battle against the government forces, have previously targeted police in the region.

The Islamic State group has also carried out deadly attacks in Turkey.

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