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Turkey Blocks Twitter (Again) as Two Policemen Found Dead Near Syrian Border

The policemen's deaths come just two days after a blast in the nearby town of Suruc, which killed 32 people and wounded nearly 100. Meanwhile, Turkish Twitter users are unable to access the site.

by VICE News
Jul 22 2015, 10:10am

Imagen por Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/EPA

Violence continues near Turkey's border with Syria, after two police officers were found shot dead in their home on Wednesday, according to an official. Also today, the country appears to have blocked access to Twitter.

Izzettin Kucuk, the governor of Sanliurfa province, said on Wednesday that it was not immediately clear if the attack against the policemen, who were sharing a house in the border town of Ceylanpinar, was linked to terrorism.

Police were considering the possibility that the deaths may have been a murder-suicide, according to CNN Turk.

The militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) later claimed responsibility for the attack, however, describing it as a "punishment operation," and alleging that the two men had collaborated with the so-called Islamic State group (IS).

The assault comes two days after a bomb in the nearby the town of Suruc — also near the Syrian border and in Sanliurfa province — killed 32 people and wounded nearly 100.

Related: Suspect 'Identified' and Islamic State Blamed for Turkish Border Town Bombing

Officials have raised concerns that the deadly bombing is part of a campaign of retaliation by IS against Turkey for a recent crackdown on its operations in the country.

Following the deadly bombing, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that border security would need to be increased. "We are face to face with a terrorism incident," he said. "We have the willpower to find and certainly punish those who are responsible."

Turkey has also reportedly blocked access to social media site Twitter, with residents unable to access the site with their phone or laptop on Wednesday morning. Reuters reported that the decision was made in a local court ruling following Monday's bomb attack.

A court in Suruc issued a ban on the publication of images related to the bombing in the media, including the internet and social media platforms, and ruled that access be barred to internet sites that do not comply with the ban, the Anadolu Agency reported.

A government official said Turkey had asked Twitter to remove 107 URLs with images of the aftermath of the bombing. Twitter had removed some 50 of the URLs and was working to remove the remaining problematic URLs.

The anonymous official said he expected the URLs to be removed soon and for the access to be restored.

The country last blocked access to Twitter in April, after an Istanbul court ordered social media sites to remove any content showing kidnapped prosecutor Mehmet Salim Kiraz, who was held at gunpoint by far-left militants.

Related: Dozens Killed In Bomb Attack On Turkish Border Town

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Islamic State
war and conflict
izzettin kucuk
sanliurfa province