PKK militant group claims responsibility for Turkish car bombing: website

A member of the police special forces stands next to vehicles, which were damaged by a car bomb attack that targeted a minibus (not pictured) carrying members of the police special forces, occurred in the Kurdish-dominated southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey March 31, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - The outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) on Friday claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack a day earlier that killed seven police officers and wounded 27 people in southeast Turkey’s city of Diyarbakir.

In a statement on its website, the PKK’s armed wing said it had carried out the bombing.

The attack, a day before Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s visit to the largely Kurdish southeast, was one of the largest car bombings in months of violence in the region.

Diyarbakir itself was the scene of several weeks of combat between security forces and PKK fighters in the first few months of this year.

Security sources said on Friday nine people had been detained in connection with the attack, where a parked car laden with explosives was detonated as a minibus carrying police officers turned a corner on a busy street.

The southeast has been wracked by violence since a ceasefire between the PKK and the government collapsed last July. The government has said it has killed thousands of militants since then, while more than 350 members of the security forces have been killed in the fighting.

Reporting by Seyhmus Cakan in Diyarbakir and Daren Butler and Ayla Jean Yackley in Istanbul, Writing by David Dolan, Editing by Angus MacSwan