2 vehicle bombs in Turkey target cops, kill six

A vehicle bombing in Van province late Wednesday killed a police officer and two civilians and wounded at least 73 people, the Associated Press reported.

A second vehicle bombing, much larger, hit hours later in the city of Elazig, at another police station, Peter says. At least 73 other people - 53 civilians and 20 police officers - were wounded.

Turkish officials blame the banned militant group Kurdistan Worker's Party, or PKK, for the attacks.

Turkey on Thursday ordered the seizure of the assets of 187 businessmen suspected of links to US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of masterminding an attempted coup, state media reported. "The intelligence that directs them is the same".

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks. "We are in close touch with Turkish authorities and will continue to work together with Turkey to confront the threats we face from terrorist groups".

Turkish prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for 84 academics nationwide, the private Dogan news agency reported, while the state-run Anadolu agency said Istanbul authorities were separately hunting 62 academics from the city's main university.

Rights groups say about 400 civilians have also been killed.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirum said the attacks Thursday are an indication the PKK, founded in 1978 as a socialist revolutionary organization, is weakening and resorting to suicide bombings.

Yildirim said in his comments in Elazig that FETO - the government's name for Gulen's network - had "handed over its mission" to the PKK.

"The PKK wants to show it's very much alive and kicking, and various people do anticipate it will launch more attacks towards central and western Turkey". "This is the separatist PKK terrorist organization and its extensions".

The outlawed DHKP-C is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union and has staged suicide attacks against Turkish police and the US Embassy in recent years.

Speaking after the attack, Van's deputy governor Mehmet Parlak said 38 of those injured were civilians while two were police officers. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is also scheduled to visit next week.

Amnesty International condemned Thursday's auto bombings as "the latest in a series of reckless and brutal attacks". News stories displayed here appear in our category for General and are licensed via a specific agreement between LongIsland.com and The Associated Press, the world's oldest and largest news organization.



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