Turkish soldier killed, ruling party HQ attacked in new PKK violence
A soldier was killed in southeastern Turkey and a regional headquarters of the country’s ruling party hit by a bomb attack, in new violence blamed on Kurdish militants, the army and sources said Saturday.
The soldier, a captain, was killed in a rocket and long-range gun attack late Friday on a military post in Beytussebap district in southeastern Sirnak province, the army said in a statement.
Two other soldiers were injured.
The army said the attack was carried out by the “Separatist Terror Organisation”, its customary phrase for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to which it never refers by name.
Meanwhile, suspected members of the PKK threw two bombs outside the regional headquarters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the predominantly Kurdish southeastern city of Diyarbakir.
The attack severely damaged a police water cannon truck parked outside, injuring a policeman who was inside, the official Anatolia news agency reported.
The PKK has been staging daily attacks against the Turkish armed forces as the military keeps up air raids and military operations against its strongholds in southeast Turkey as well as northern Iraq.
Over 50 members of the Turkish security forces have been killed in attacks blamed on the PKK but the government has vowed to maintain its campaign against the group.
The army said in a statement that it had killed another 41 PKK militants in air strikes and ground operations over the last two days.
Twelve militants were killed by the Turkish army in a ground and air operation in the Uludere district of Sirnak province on Friday, it said.
Meanwhile, another 29 PKK members were killed in air strikes from Thursday to Friday by Turkish war planes on their camps in northern Iraq, it added.
Anatolia reported Friday that 771 PKK militants have been killed so far in the campaign, including 430 in air strikes on northern Iraq. It is not possible to independently verify the figures.
Meanwhile, 10 customs officials and a driver were reported missing in the Van region of eastern Turkey close to the border with Iran, Anatolia reported, saying it was possible they had been abducted by the PKK.
The PKK regularly carries out kidnappings in Turkey’s southeast which normally end with the detainees’ release.
The PKK took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984 in an insurgency to seek independence for the Kurdish-dominated southeast, although its demands later moderated to autonomy and greater rights.
Tens of thousands of people have lost their lives in the conflict and the latest strife has left in tatters a 2013 ceasefire declared by the PKK’s jailed leader, Abdullah Ocalan.