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Explosion near government offices wounds three in southern Turkey

The blast, which happened in the mainly Kurdish town of Derik, follows another killing of four in Van province on Wednesday
People watch the explosion scene on 21 August 2016 in Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey that left at least 30 dead

At least three people, including the district governor, have been wounded in an explosion close to a government building in southern Turkey, local media reported Thursday.

The blast happened in the mainly Kurdish town of Derik, according to the Dogan news agency.

Members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, have been held responsible for the attack against the office of the district governor Fatih Safiturk, who was recently appointed as the city mayor trustee, reported the Anadolu Agency.

Many ambulances and security personnel were called to the area, where clashes between security forces and militants are reportedly under way.

Following the failed coup of 15 July, the Turkish government has dismissed dozens of elected mayors in Kurdish areas and replaced them with its own appointees. The dismissals have been met with widespread protests by Kurdish groups in southeast Turkey.

Series of attacks

The news comes only a day after four people, including three village guards and a citizen, lost their lives and two others were injured when a minibus was attacked in eastern Turkey's Van province on Wednesday.

In a statement, the regional governor’s office linked the attack, which took place in the province’s capital Baskale, to the PKK.

An investigation into the incident is now under way, the statement added.

Meanwhile, in southeastern Hakkari province, two Turkish soldiers were killed in two separate attacks in Yuksekova and Cukurca districts linked by local sources to the PKK, Turkish General Staff said in a statement.

Hakkari's mayors were among those suspended in September along with 24 district mayors, the mayor of the southeastern province of Batman and two town mayors.

The recent appointments were mostly in southeastern municipalities run by the Democratic Unity Party (DBP), the sister party of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), including the Silvan and Sur municipalities of Diyarbakır, four municipalities in Mardin, Van and Batman, and two municipalities in Sirnak. The mayors were replaced by deputy governors or district governors.

A fragile peace process between the state and the PKK broke down last year, leading to renewed violence in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast region.

At least 700 state security personnel and thousands of Kurdish militants have been killed since then.

Turkey has been rocked by a series of deadly bomb attacks in the past 18 months, many of which have been linked to the PKK or Islamic State militants.

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