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Istanbul bombings heighten tensions in an increasingly divided Turkey

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A bomb attack in Istanbul on Sunday killed 17 people and left over 150 injured, heightening tensions hours before a controversial court case judging whether to ban Turkey's governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) began Monday. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but speculations are rife, signaling the divisiveness of Turkey's political landscape.

According to Reuters, the attack was a particularly fatal double bombing.

The bombings occurred in the run-up to the meeting of Turkey's highest judicial body, which is to deliberate today whether the ruling AK party (AKP) has engaged in Islamist activity and should therefore be banned. The case is a standoff in a long-running power struggle between Turkey's secularists and Islamists, reports the BBC.

The BBC adds, however, that it is unclear whether the attacks were timed to coincide with the controversial court case.

Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, Turkish authorities are pointing fingers at Kurdish separatists, reports The Washington Post.

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