Twin blasts rock offices of Turkey’s Kurdish party: official

Twin blasts rock offices of Turkey’s Kurdish party: official
People stand at the site of an explosion at the office of pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) in Mersin, Turkey.

ANKARA - Twin explosions on Monday hit the regional headquarters of Turkey's main pro-Kurdish party in two cities amid escalating tensions in the run up to June 7 legislative elections, a party official said.

Six people were injured in the blast at the office of the People's Democratic Party (HDP) in the southern city of Adana, three of them seriously, the official told AFP. The official said the frontal facade of the building sustained damage.

Another blast occurred in nearby Mersin in southern Turkey when a flower sent to the party office exploded, the party official said. There were no casualties.

The motives and causes of the blasts were not immediately clear.

The HDP's co-chairman Selahattin Demirtas was due to address a rally in Mersin later in the day.

In April, unidentified assailants opened fire on the HDP headquarters in the capital Ankara, with no casualties. The government condemned that attack as a blow to Turkey's democracy and stability.

Tensions are mounting ahead of Turkey's key elections next month in which the HDP is seeking to clear the 10 per cent quota to take seats in the parliament.

The HDP's success could dent the ruling AKP party's plans to reach a thumping majority in the 550-seat parliament in order to change the constitution and create a presidential system.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who steered Turkey as prime minister for 11 years, has appealed to his supporters to help elect 400 AKP lawmakers in June's vote, giving him the backing to rewrite the constitution - and assume full executive powers himself.

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