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Turkey blocks Twitter, WhatsApp after detaining 11 pro-Kurdish leaders

world Updated: Nov 04, 2016 13:42 IST
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Co-chairs of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, were detained, according to a ministry statement.(Reuters File Photo)

Access to social media sites Twitter and Whatsapp was blocked in Turkey on Friday, an internet monitoring group said, following the detentions of 11 pro-Kurdish lawmakers in the mainly Kurdish southeast overnight.

Access was being blocked by throttling, an expert from the monitoring group Turkey Blocks said, a method of slowing certain websites to the point where they are unusable.

Also on Friday, a car bomb was believed to have caused an explosion that killed one person and wounded at least 30 others in Turkey’s southeastern city of Diyarbakir, according to NTV channel.

Several ambulances were dispatched to the scene of the blast, which occurred just hours after police detained the two co-leaders of the country’s main pro-Kurdish party Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and several other MPs in a major escalation of a broader crackdown against the minority group.

HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag as well as other prominent figures such as Sirri Sureyya Onder and Idris Baluken were among those detained, according to the ministry’s statement.

The armed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has waged a three-decade insurgency in Turkey’s southeast.