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Videos Show Explosions and Aftermath at Kurdish Party Political Rally in Turkey

The incident occurred ahead of Turkey's parliamentary elections Sunday, and follows at least two attacks on the Kurdish party in recent weeks.
Photo by Emre Tazegul/AP

Twin explosions at a political rally for Turkey's Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Friday left two people dead and more than 100 wounded, according to witnesses and officials.

Video shows the moment the first explosion occurred, as tens of thousands gathered in the in the mainly Kurdish southeastern city of Diyarbakir. As smoke rises in the air, the music shuts off and people scatter as organizers ask others to call for an ambulance over the loudspeaker.


Local media reported that the two dead included a 16-year-old and a man in his 20s.

The first explosion went off minutes before HDP's party leader Selahattin Demirtas was preparing speak to the crowd. A second, slightly larger, explosion occurred five minutes later, the Associated Press reported.

There were mixed reports of the exact cause of the explosions. Rally organizers reportedly told the crowd that they had originated from problems with the power distribution unit, while Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz later blamed the explosions on an "external interference" with the unit. He did not say whether he believed a bomb had been planted in the unit.

Turkey is to hold its parliamentary elections this Sunday, and the HDP is hoping to secure enough seats to attain the 10 percent total vote threshold required to secure a seat.

The explosions follow at least two other attacks on the HDP in recent weeks, including an incident in which gunmen shot at a campaign vehicle. The driver of the car died from his injuries. Six people were also wounded last month when bombs were set off at two HDP offices in the southern Turkish cities of Adana and Mersin.

Some small protests broke out at the site of the rally shortly after the explosions.

Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has promised an investigation will be conducted.

"Whatever is behind this incident — whether it was a power transformer explosion, an assassination attempt, an act of provocation — we shall investigate it," he said. "I call on my brothers in Diyarbakir: Please beware of exploitation of the incident and provocations. No one should be involved in provocations."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Watch the VICE News documentary, "Turkey's Border Watch." 

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