UPDATE 6/6/15, 19h57: Democratic Society Congress (DTK) Health Assembly, SES and Amed Chamber of Medicine formed a crisis desk after the attack on HDP rally in Amed and made public their report on the death toll and number of people injured during the blasts. According to the report, 3 people died and 402 people got injured in Amed massacre. 16 of the wounded are still in critical condition.
Brussels,6/6/15, Turkey’s Kurdish region,— Two blasts ripped through a Kurdish rally in Turkish Kurdistan on Friday, killing four people and injuring more than 400.
The explosions occurred as tens of thousands of people gathered for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) election rally in Diyarbakir, the largest Kurdish city in Turkish Kurdistan in the southeast of the country.
Initial reports said there had been one explosion but a senior security source told Reuters there were two blasts. Officials initially blamed a faulty power transformer at the rally site but later ruled that possibility out.
Eyewitness Guy Martin, a British photographer, told Reuters the blasts occurred some five minutes apart – the first in a rubbish bin which was ripped apart and the second in front a power generator. In the aftermath he saw one person who had lost a leg and others with shrapnel wounds.
“It was a heart-shaking, ribcage-shaking noise, he said of one of the blasts. “The most terrifying thing is that crush of people. It was chaos, I couldn’t move, people were panicking.”
“The police started firing teargas at people who were helping the injured or fleeing the scene this enflamed the situation,” he added. “The mood is angry. People want revenge.”
On saturdaymorning DTK (Democratic Society Congress) Health Assembly member Saliha Aydeniz announced the figures of casualties from friday’s twin bomb attacks at HDP rally in Amed.
Aydeniz who spoke to ANF strongly condemned the bloody attack, saying; “In spite of everything, peace will prevail”.
Aydeniz stated that 4 people have died, including 1 who fell from high, and 416 were wounded who are currently being treated at various hospitals across the city. According to the figures compiled by DTK, 12 people lost their legs, 8 dependent on respiratory equipment, 35 held in burn units and 22 others in intensive care unit.
She added that DTK will release a detailed statement about the casualties in the following hours.
Tensions have run high as the HDP campaigns to become the first party with Kurdish origins to win seats in parliament in Sunday’s election. Previously, Kurdish MPs have joined the legislature as independents.
The HDP needs to overcome a 10 percent vote threshold, and some opinion polls show it could seize enough seats to deprive the long-ruling AK Party of the majority it has enjoyed since sweeping to power in 2002.
POLICE FIRE WATER CANNON
HDP Chairman Selahattin Demirtas called on his supporters to remain calm.
“We don’t know the cause of the blast,” he told CNN Turk. “It is thought-provoking that this occurred so close to the election,” he added.
Television footage showed people carrying the injured on stretchers as organizers of the rally for the pro-Kurdish HDP announced on loudspeakers that the explosion had been caused by a fault in a power generator and urged people to stay calm.
The explosion rocked the parade ground just before Demirtas was to address the crowd. Police fired water cannon to disperse protesters who remained at the parade ground. The rally was subsequently canceled.
Security has been tight at HDP political rallies. On Thursday, nationalists clashed with HDP supporters at a Demirtas rally in the northern town of Erzurum and on wednessday a driver of a HDP-campagnbus was shot dead when driving home after work. In May two seperate HDP-offices were the target of bomb attacks.
Demirtas has said his party has been the target of more than 70 violent attacks during the campaign.
Source: Reuters, Ekurd.net and ANF