Istanbul - Ten Turkish soldiers and eight civilians were killed on Sunday when suspected Kurdish militants detonated a five-tonne truck bomb that ripped through a checkpoint near a military outpost in the country's southeast, Turkish Prime minister Binali Yildirim said.
Istanbul – Ten Turkish soldiers and eight civilians were killed on Sunday when suspected Kurdish militants detonated a five-tonne truck bomb that ripped through a checkpoint near a military outpost in the country’s southeast, Turkish Prime minister Binali Yildirim said.
Another 27 people, including 11 soldiers, were wounded in the blast which hit the Durak gendarmerie station, 20 km (12 miles) from the town of Semdinli, in one of the most deadly attacks in the region of recent times.
The attack occurred when a small truck approached the vehicle checkpoint and ignored an order to stop, prompting gendarmerie troops to open fire, the Hakkari governor’s office said.
A bomb in the vehicle was detonated, which Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters contained some five tonnes of explosives.
President Tayyip Erdogan vowed to put an end to PKK attacks as he condemned the bombing, accusing the group of acting on behalf of “dark forces that had designs in Syria and Iraq”.
The army has “neutralised” 387 PKK fighters in Hakkari alone since Aug. 4, state-run Anadolu Agency cited military sources as saying.
The governor’s office said extensive air-backed operations were being conducted by commando units in the area to capture PKK militants, who were believed to have opened fire in the run-up to the attack to distract soldiers at the checkpoint.
Violence has flared in the mainly Kurdish southeast and elsewhere in Turkey in recent days. On Saturday, a man and a woman who authorities suspect were PKK militants preparing a car bomb attack detonated explosives and killed themselves near the capital Ankara in a stand-off with police.
In the southeast, 12 people were killed on Saturday, including eight PKK fighters. Four civilians were killed by gunfire from an armoured police vehicle in the town of Yuksekova near the Iranian border.