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Car bomb rips through Turkey police station in Kurdish southeast

Four people killed and dozens more injured in blast that came less than 24 hours after Istanbul attack
Massive plumes of black smoke were seen rising from the rubble of the severely damaged police station (AA)

A car bomb ripped through a police station in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast on Wednesday, killing four people and injuring dozens more.

The blast came a day after 11 people - including seven police officers and four civilians - were killed in an attack in Istanbul.

The Anatolia news agency said two police officers, including a pregnant woman, and two civilians had been killed and about 30 injured.

According to Turkish media, a bomb hit the main police station in the town of Midyat near the Syrian border. Authorities blamed "terrorists" for the attack in a reference to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

"We will fight them both in urban centres and rural areas with determination," Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told media.

Turkey has seen months of violence since the breakdown of a two-year ceasefire between Ankara and the PKK, and the country has also been targeted by the Islamic State group in a series of attacks since mid-2015.

Several people were injured and ambulances were dispatched to the scene after the powerful explosion, privately owned NTV television reported.

Images carried by Turkish media showed a massive plume of black smoke rising from the rubble of the severely damaged police station. Windows of houses in the neighbourhood were shattered by the force of the explosion.

Reports have since emerged that three journalists at the scene were roughed up by Turkish youths, apparently for trying to photograph and film the damage. The three journalists said the youths threw stones at them while yelling "you cannot shoot" here. The journalists were briefly hospitalised but are now said to have been released and recovering well.

Translation: Residents in Midyat attacked my friends Sertac Kayar, Hatice Kamer and myself. We managed to avoid getting lynched. We are in hospital and fine.

Midyat'ta saldırıya uğradık. 3 meslektaşım ağır yaralı. Bir iş yerinde mahsur kaldık. Yardım lütfen.

— Sertaç Kayar (@sertacamed) June 8, 2016

Translation: We were attacked in Midyat. 3 of my colleagues are seriously injured. We are trapped in a work place [office/shop]. Please help. 

The scenes of destruction mirrored those seen in Istanbul on Tuesday after the car bomb rocked a central neighbourhood in the city, damaging hotels, houses and shops and shutting the local metro station. Four people have been arrested in connection with the blast.

Municipal workers clean the damages caused to a hotel and the road by a bomb in the Vezneciler district of Istanbul on 7 June, 2016 (AFP)

Violence flared last year between Kurdish rebels and government forces, shattering a 2013 ceasefire reached after secret talks between PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan and the Turkish state.

Turkey has waged an intense offensive against the PKK listed as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies, with so-called "clean-up" operations in several towns in the southeast.

Activists have accused the security forces of causing huge destruction to urban centres and killing civilians, but the government says the operations are essential for public safety, blaming the PKK for the damage.

In recent days, Turkish Armed Forces jets apparently stepped up anti-PKK activities, hitting PKK targets in Iraq and southeastern Turkey on Tuesday, the military said in a statement.

Military sources said early on Wednesday that nine shelters in the Qandil region of northern Iraq and a PKK unit in the southeast Turkish province of Diyarbakir were all destroyed.

Since violence escalated last year, Turkish authorities say that around 500 security personnel, including troops, police officers and village guards, have been killed although AFP says the toll is closer to 200. Ankara also claims that it has killed more than 4,900 PKK fighters in Turkey and Iraq, although these figures are disputed.

More than 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK took up arms in 1984 demanding an independent state for Kurds. Since then the group has narrowed its demands to greater autonomy and cultural rights.