Mil­i­tants kill them­selves in stand­off with Tur­key po­lice

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Two peo­ple suspected of plan­ning a car bomb at­tack on the Turk­ish cap­i­tal Ankara yes­ter­day blew them­selves up after be­ing con­fronted by po­lice, avert­ing what the jus­tice min­is­ter called a “huge dis­as­ter”. The suspects, who both died in the ex­plo­sion, were be­lieved to be pre­par­ing an at­tack when they set off the ex­plo­sives, the of­fi­cial Anadolu news agency said. “A huge dis­as­ter has been pre­vented. It is prob­a­ble they would have at­tacked Ankara .... All signs are point­ing to the PKK ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion,” Jus­tice Min­is­ter Bekir Bozdag told the CNN-Turk broad­caster.

The bomb­ing comes two days be­fore the first an­niver­sary of Tur­key’s dead­li­est ter­ror at­tack in its mod­ern history in Ankara which left 103 dead. Ankara gov­er­nor Er­can Topaca told re­porters at the scene it was “highly likely” that the suspects had con­nec­tions to the out­lawed Kur­dis­tan Work­ers’ Party (PKK). “The ma­te­ri­als used, the con­struc­tion and the way it was planned point to the PKK .... ” he said, quoted by Anadolu. The PKK - pro­scribed as a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion by Tur­key, the EU and US - has been wag­ing a 32-year in­sur­gency against the state in the coun­try’s south­east. Bozdag added that Tur­key was in a “crit­i­cal po­si­tion” in the re­gion and re­ferred to “sources of ter­ror” in Syria and Iraq where con­flict is rag­ing. Video pub­lished by Do­gan news agency showed the mo­ment of­fi­cers urged the suspects to sur­ren­der be­fore a large and loud ex­plo­sion sends clouds of smoke and rub­ble thrown into the air.

Vi­o­lence re­turned to the re­gion after the col­lapse of a two-year cease­fire last year with hun­dreds of Turk­ish se­cu­rity forces killed and thou­sands of mil­i­tants dead. In the lat­est clashes, eight PKK mil­i­tants were “neu­tral­ized” in Cukurcu district in Hakkari prov­ince on the bor­der with north­ern Iraq, the Turk­ish armed forces said, quoted by Anadolu.

Po­lice Swoop

The gov­er­nor said po­lice swooped early on Satur­day after a tip-off from Di­yarbakir, a mainly Kur­dish prov­ince in Tur­key’s south­east. Noone else was killed or in­jured in the blast un­der­stood to have taken place close to a black car in the town of Hay­mana, around 30 km from Ankara, the gov­er­nor’s of­fice said in a state­ment. The suspects were be­lieved to have been hid­ing in a hut near a stud farm. “The se­cu­rity forces launched the op­er­a­tion and warned (them) to sur­ren­der. A short while later (and) be­fore any intervention, two ter­ror­ists con­firmed to be a man and a woman det­o­nated them­selves,” the state­ment added. — AFP

HAY­MANA: Po­lice foren­sic of­fi­cers work at the scene of a sui­cide bomb­ing on the out­skirts of the cap­i­tal yes­ter­day. — AFP

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