Turk­ish gov­er­nor dies in bomb­ing

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey: A dis­trict gov­er­nor has died af­ter a bomb at­tack on his of­fice in the largely Kur­dish south­east of Turkey and po­lice have de­tained 30 peo­ple in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, se­cu­rity sources said yes­ter­day. The YPS, a youth wing of the out­lawed Kur­dis­tan Work­ers Party (PKK), claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for Thurs­day’s at­tack in Mardin, ac­cord­ing to the ANF news agency, which is close to the mil­i­tant group.

Derik dis­trict gov­er­nor Muhammed Fatih Safi­turk was one of three peo­ple hurt in the at­tack, suf­fer­ing sec­ond­de­gree burns. He died in hos­pi­tal in the city of Gaziantep yes­ter­day, hav­ing been flown there by he­li­copter, the Do­gan news agency said. Around 30 peo­ple, in­clud­ing staff from the gov­er­nor’s of­fice, have been de­tained in con­nec­tion with the at­tack, se­cu­rity sources said.

Po­lice were look­ing into the pos­si­bil­ity that ex­plo­sives were hid­den in a bag placed in the gov­er­nor’s of­fice and det­o­nated re­motely, or were sent in a pack­age to the of­fice and ex­ploded on be­ing opened, Do­gan said. Safi­turk had been given the ad­di­tional re­spon­si­bil­ity in July of run­ning the lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­ity as part of moves to re­place elected of­fi­cials from a sis­ter party of the pro-Kur­dish Peoples’ Demo­cratic Party (HDP).

A re­port by the HDP on Wed­nes­day said that more than 3 mil­lion peo­ple were un­der the lead­er­ship of such gov­ern­ment-ap­pointed trustees in around 30 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties. Ankara ac­cuses the HDP, par­lia­ment’s third-biggest party, of ties to the PKK, which is fight­ing for au­ton­omy in the south­east. The HDP de­nies any di­rect links and says it is work­ing for a peace­ful res­o­lu­tion of the con­flict.

The PKK of­ten car­ries out bomb and rocket at­tacks in the south­east, where vi­o­lence has raged since a twoyear-old PKK cease­fire col­lapsed in July last year. Four­teen PKK mil­i­tants were found dead af­ter an air­backed Turk­ish mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion against them in the east­ern prov­ince of Tunceli, state-run Anadolu news agency re­ported yes­ter­day. More than 40,000 peo­ple have been killed in the con­flict since the PKK took up arms in 1984. It is con­sid­ered a ter­ror­ist group by Turkey, the United States and the Euro­pean Union. The lead­ers of the HDP were jailed this month pend­ing trial over al­leged ties to the PKK, draw­ing strong in­ter­na­tional con­dem­na­tion of the widen­ing crack­down on dis­sent un­der Pres­i­dent Tayyip Er­do­gan. More than 36,000 peo­ple have been jailed pend­ing trial and around 110,000 sus­pended or dis­missed from their jobs since an at­tempted coup on July 15 which Ankara blames on US-based cleric Fethul­lah Gulen and his sup­port­ers.

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