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Truck Bomb Attack Kills Six in Turkey's Southeast, Blamed on PKK

Authorities said Kurdish militants were responsible for the blast at a police station, which is one of the biggest such attacks since conflict flared in the region last July.
Photo via EPA

A truck bomb blasted through a police station and nearby buildings in south east Turkey on Thursday morning, killing six people and wounding at least 39, in an attack blamed on Kurdish militants.

Those killed included a mother and her baby, a one-year old girl, and a five-year-old boy, reported the BBC.

Gunmen simultaneously opened fire with rifles on a nearby security complex, triggering a firefight, but no casualties were reported, said government officials.


The bomb ripped the facade off the building in the small town of Cinar and caused extensive damage to the surrounding area, in one of the biggest such attacks since conflict flared in the region last July.

The mainly Kurdish region has been hit by a surge in violence since a two-year ceasefire between the state and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) collapsed six months ago, reviving an insurgency that has killed more than 40,000 people over three decades.

The conflict is stretching Turkey's security forces, which are also increasing operations against Islamic State (IS) militants. The latest blast follows a suicide bomb attack in Istanbul on Tuesday that killed 10 mostly German tourists and prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu said was carried out by an IS member.

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PKK militants attacked the police station and adjoining accommodation in Cinar, south of the main regional city of Diyarbakir, at around 11.30pm (2130 GMT), the provincial governor's office said in a statement.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, in which the statement said five people were killed. A Reuters witness saw a sixth dead body pulled from the wreckage and a security source said it was that of a policeman's wife.

The PKK was also blamed by the governor for the gun attack.

Designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, The PKK says it is fighting for autonomy and greater rights for Kurds in the NATO-member country.

Since the group launched its insurgency in 1984, fighting has stayed largely in the countryside, but the latest violence has focused on urban areas, where armed Kurdish youth have set up barricades and dug trenches to keep out security forces and engaged in violent clashes.

The Turkish government has been carrying out massive security operations in about 20 towns along the Syrian and Iraqi borders, along with a district of Diyarbakir, with NGOs and rights groups documenting more than 150 civilian deaths between July and mid-December last year. The dead include women, children, and elderly people.

The operations, which are using tanks and heavy weaponry have forced almost 200,000 people to flee their homes, reported Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman. Residents have also been subjected to round-the-clock curfew for more than a month, with many unable to access food or healthcare.

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