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Kurdish militants kill guard in attack on Turkish politician, say sources

The incident follows an attack by the PKK on a police compound in Diyarbakir on Tuesday which left three dead
Turkish police outside an Ankara art gallery in December 2016 (Reuters)

Kurdish militants killed a guard in an attack on a vehicle carrying a district official from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in southeast Turkey on Saturday, ahead of Sunday's countrywide referendum on introducing a presidential system of government, security sources said.

According to the security sources, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants carried out the attack on Saturday night in the Muradiye district of the southeast's Van province. A second of the AKP official's guards was wounded in the attack.

On Tuesday, the PKK claimed an attack on a police station in Diyarbakir which left three dead, including a police officer.

A statement from the PKK said the group had planted 2.5 tonnes of explosives in a tunnel underneath the police compound.

The Turkish minister of interior had earlier said that the explosion was an accident caused by repairs on armoured vehicles, before stating that new evidence showed that explosives had been placed in a tunnel dug underneath the compound's vehicle repair facility.

The PKK, deemed a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the EU and the US, has been waging an insurgency against Ankara since 1984.

Sunday’s referendum, which could see President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's powers consolidated, has seen increased security measures across the country. 

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