February 18, 2017 / 8:54 AM / 6 months ago

Turkey detains 26 people after car bomb, governor says PKK responsible

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Damaged cars and buildings are seen after Friday's explosion outside a housing complex in the southeastern Turkish town of Viransehir in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, near the border with Syria February 18, 2017.Kadir Celikcan

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish police detained 26 people over a car bomb attack in the south-eastern town of Viransehir, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Saturday.

A vehicle loaded with explosives was remotely detonated late on Friday in the garden of a housing complex for judges and prosecutors, killing an 11-year-old boy and a security guard. Seventeen people were injured.

"The vehicle had been detonated just as a security guard who saw it being parked was about to intervene with a gun, killing him," Soylu told reporters in Viransehir, adding that the blast caused damage to 14 buildings nearby.

Eleven people were still being treated in hospital, Soylu said, including two in intensive care.

"As of last night a total of 26 people had been detained and our security forces are conducting the necessary work," he added. A previous statement from the Sanliurfa provincial governor's office said the owner of the vehicle used in the attack was among those being held.

Images from the scene showed dozens of cars parked inside the housing complex were severely damaged while the buildings' windows and balconies were almost entirely shattered. Turkish flags were hung on the side of the buildings.

There has been no claim of responsibility. Sanliurfa governor Gungor Azim Tuna was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu agency that the attack was carried out by Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants.

The PKK, designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States, launched an armed separatist insurgency in 1984 and more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

A ceasefire between the PKK and the state broke down in July, 2015.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, editing by Ed Osmond; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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