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Bomb found under Turkish officer's car ahead of Erdogan event: Report

The bomb was found and diffused just before the officer had planned to travel to Siirt to attend an address given by President Tayyip Erdogan
The device was reportedly discovered and diffused on 4 December in the small city of Nusaybin (AFP/File photo)

Turkish police found a bomb under the car of a riot police officer assigned to work at an event attended by President Tayyip Erdogan in eastern Turkey, the state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.

The device was reportedly discovered on Saturday in the small city of Nusaybin on the Syrian border about 125 miles southwest of Siirt, where the officer had planned to travel to that day for Erdogan's outdoor address. 

The car was parked at the officer's home in Nusaybin, local media reported. The bomb was defused and an investigation was launched, the Turkish Ministry of Interior said, according to state-owned news channel TRT Arabic. 

Hamza Dag, deputy chair of Erdogan's ruling AK Party, said police had delayed releasing the information to avoid a public backlash, Reuters news agency reported. 

Initial reports in local media had erroneously indicated that the bomb had been discovered outside the Erdogan event in Siirt. 

'We'll send him off'

During Saturday's speech, Erdogan said he hoped that volatile foreign exchange and inflation rates would stabilise soon, after a historic selloff in the Turkish currency, the lira.

Economic woes have put a considerable about of pressure on the Turkish president, who faces elections set for no later than mid-2023. 

At a separate event in the southern city of Mersin on Saturday, crowds called for Erdogan to resign. Main opposition CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who is likely to run in the upcoming elections, said a new government would forgive all interest on loans held by farmers and small businesses.

"He doesn't need to resign, we'll send him off anyways," Kilicdaroglu said, referring to the 2023 vote.