Explosions at Turkish political rally kill at least 2, injure 100

People gesture after an explosion during a rally by the Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party in Diyarbakir.

Story highlights

  • Blasts occur at rally for Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party
  • The party is participating in Sunday's parliamentary elections

Istanbul, Turkey (CNN)Two explosions at a campaign rally for the Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party left at least two dead and more than 100 people wounded two days before Turkey's parliamentary elections, the semi-official Anadolou news agency reported, quoting Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker.

The explosions occurred in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir, an area populated by many Kurds.
Selahattin Demirtas, the leader of the party, was expected on the stage to make his final and most anticipated campaign speech. In televised images of the campaign event, two rally organizers can be heard yelling for ambulances and music for the event is cut.
    A dark cloud is seen rising in the rally area as attendees start running in panic. The rally organizers can be heard telling the crowd to avoid running and creating chaos.
    "Whatever is behind this event, if it is an electrical line, an assassination, some sort of provocation we will investigate and find the necessary answers in the shortest amount of time," Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, according to Anadolu.
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    The party, also known as HDP, accused the ruling AKP party and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of being behind the explosions.
    "This is all an effort to stop the rise of the HDP, an effort to keep the HDP below the election threshold," HDP parliamentarian Sebahat Tuncel told CNN. "This was a massacre attempt."
    Turkey's energy minister, Taner Yildiz, denied an electrical or technical failure caused the blasts, as Anadolu originally reported Friday.
    Voters will go to the polls Sunday to elect a new parliament.
    For the first time, the HDP has chosen not to run individual candidates but to enter the race as a party. This means it must secure 10% of all votes cast or face not being represented in Parliament.
    There have been other attacks against the HDP during the campaign season. Last month, an explosion rocked the HDP regional office in Adana, injuring six people, according to the party's press office.