Deadly blast at Turkey election rally caused by bomb: sources

bomb attack .photo; ackcity

bomb attack .photo; ackcity

The explosion that killed two people at a rally of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in southeastern Turkey just ahead of legislative elections was caused by a bomb packed with ball bearings, judicial sources said Saturday.

The government has not yet confirmed that the blast in Diyarbakir Friday afternoon was the result of a bomb attack and initial reports had suggested it was due to a faulty electricity transformer.

But judicial sources in Diyarbakir told AFP that investigators had confirmed that the explosion was caused by a bomb.

“The experts collected hundreds of ball bearings and pieces of the metal cylinder,” said a source, who asked not to be named.

The source confirmed that no suspect had yet been arrested over the blast.

But there was video camera evidence and fingerprints had been found on parts of the exploded cylinder, as well as a mobile phone that may also have been used, the source added.

Two blasts several minutes apart rocked the rally. It was the second blast which caused the casualties.

In a statement, Diyarbakir prosecutors confirmed that two people had been killed and over 100 wounded.

The blast was the latest strike against the HDP in the campaign, which has already seen one of its drivers shot dead, regional offices attacked and one of its other rallies stormed by nationalists.

The HDP has been conducting an energetic campaign for Sunday’s polls aimed at surmounting the tough 10-percent vote barrier needed to send MPs to the Turkish parliament.

Should it succeed, the party could wreck the chances of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) winning a large majority that would allow it to change the constitution to give President Recep Tayyip Erdogan more powers.

The explosion resulted in the cancellation of the HDP’s Diyarbakir rally, one of the centrepieces of its campaign, where party leader Selahattin Demirtas was due to give a speech.

Demirtas later urged supporters not to take to the streets after the attacks, tweeting that “peace will win”.

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