A news outlet linked to the Islamic State jihadist group has said that its fighters were behind a bombing that killed nine people in Kurdish-dominated southeastern Turkey, according to US-based monitors. “An insider source for Amaq Agency: Fighters from the Islamic State detonated an explosives-laden vehicle parked in front of a Turkish police headquarters in Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey,” the SITE Intelligence Group cited the IS-affiliated Amaq news agency as saying on Friday.
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In an audio message released earlier this week, reclusive IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi broke a nearly year-old silence to call for attacks against Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia, and for his fighters to hold their ground in their stronghold of Mosul, Iraq. Ankara has troops stationed at a base just outside Mosul and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s escalating rhetoric has raised fears of an expanded Turkish military intervention in Iraq.
Turkish authorities had blamed the blast outside a police station in Diyarbakir, Turkey’s main majority-Kurdish city, on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the PKK had again showed its “ugly face” with the attack.
Turkey jailed the two leaders of the country’s main pro- Kurdish party and 10 of the part’s MPs, causing both the United States and the European Union to raise alarm.
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