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article imageBomb-laden car found outside govt building in southeast Turkey

By AFP     Mar 18, 2016 in World

Police in southeastern Turkey defused an explosives-laden car found parked outside a government building days after a suicide car bombing in Ankara claimed by Kurdish rebels, security sources said Friday.

The vehicle, which contained 150 kilos (330 pounds) of explosives, was found Thursday in the Hani district of Diyarbakir province, where security forces have been engaged a major offensive against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) since the collapse of a ceasefire in July.

Police bomb disposal experts defused the device and took the vehicle away for examination, the security sources told AFP.

The discovery comes five days after a female suicide bomber drove a primed car into a busy bus stop in Ankara, killing 35 people and injuring over 120 others.

The attack -- the fifth major bombing in Turkey since July -- was claimed by a PKK offshoot, the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), which declared it part of a "radical fight" against the state's "policy of massacre and denial against the Kurdish people".

TAK also claimed a car bombing targeting a convoy of troops in Ankara last month that killed 29 people.

The other three attacks -- one in Ankara, one in Istanbul and another in a mainly Kurdish town on the border with Syria -- have been blamed on the Islamic State jihadist group.

The escalating violence has seen foreign missions in Turkey heighten security measures.

The German embassy in Ankara, German consulate in Istanbul and German schools in both cities remained closed for a second day Friday following what Berlin called "very serious" indications of planned attacks against Germany's diplomatic missions.

In January, 12 German tourists were killed in a suicide attack blamed on IS in the heart of Istanbul's tourist district.

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