Four suspected bomb makers were killed and 17 others injured in a blast that took place in a village in Sarikamis district in southeastern Turkey, a mainly Kurdish region. The village is just 25km away from the city of Diyarbakir, which is the region's biggest city.

The explosion, which happened around 10.30pm local time on Thursday, occurred as militants loaded explosives onto a truck that was intended for use by the security forces, Reuters reported. Two of those injured are reported to be in critical condition.

A photograph taken from a police helicopter, which was provided to the media, showed a large crater in the field because of the explosion.

The explosion damaged several houses and electricity had to be cut, according to CNN Turk. Police set up checkpoints in the district following the blast and searched vehicles entering and leaving the village.

This blast came hours after an explosion near the military airfield in Istanbul's Sancaktepe area that injured six military soldiers and one civilian. On Tuesday, a blast in Diyarbakir city centre killed three people and wounded 45. Turkey has been reeling under a wave of violence in recent months.

Since the beginning of 2016, several blasts have rocked the country, including two suicide blasts in Istanbul's tourist areas, for which Islamic State (Isis) was blamed, and two car bombings in the capital city of Ankara, which killed 66 people. The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons or TAK, which is an offshoot of the PKK, claimed responsibility for the car bombings.

The conflict between Turkey and the PKK dates back to 1984 when they demanded an independent Kurdistan in the south eastern region of Turkey. After a lull, the conflict restarted in July 2015 and since then a number of soldiers, police officers and members of the PKK have died.