Following the capture of a suspect the previous day in possession of three pipe bombs, police yesterday discovered 17 bombs of the same type in a house in Diyarbakır, a predominantly Kurdish city in the southeast.
It is not known whether the two incidents are connected. In the first case, a man was stopped on suspicion by security forces and was found in possession of three bombs capable of inflicting huge casualties in his backpack.
Yesterday, the National Police's counter-terrorism teams searched the residence of a family and 17 bombs were found in a box hidden in the room of the family's daughter.
The authorities did not reveal further details regarding the findings and neither the identities of the suspects nor the possible connection to terror activities. Diyarbakır, a city of 1.6 million, is known as a stronghold of the PKK terrorist organization in terms of support. The city was also the scene of explosions that killed four on June 5 during an election rally by the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), an opposition party affiliated with the PKK.
The PKK, which was behind a string of bombings in the region in the past, has largely ceased its activities following the government's initiative to end the group's bloody campaign for Kurdish self-rule in the southeast. However, it occasionally opens fire on Turkish troops deployed in the region.
The PKK is based in the mountainous terrain in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq and announced in 2013 that it would leave its mountain hideouts in eastern and southeastern Turkey. Still, the group's youth wing, the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H), remains active both in Diyarbakır and western cities. The YDG-H often stages riots in cities and attacks security forces. Media reported yesterday that seven suspected members of the YDG-H were arrested in Bursa, a city south of Istanbul. Suspects, including university students, were reportedly recruiting members for the terrorist organization.
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