Car bomb kills 18 at mil­i­tary check­point

The Myanmar Times - - World -

EIGH­TEEN peo­ple were killed when a van packed with five tonnes of ex­plo­sives blew up in Turkey’s restive south­east – an at­tack blamed on Kur­dish mil­i­tants.

The bomb­ing, which killed 10 sol­diers and eight civil­ians, was one of the dead­li­est at­tacks on Turk­ish se­cu­rity forces since the at­tempted coup of July 15 when a rogue mil­i­tary fac­tion tried to oust Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan.

“The at­tack was per­pe­trated by a sui­cide bomber who det­o­nated a van [packed] with 5 tonnes of ex­plo­sives,” Prime Min­is­ter Bi­nali Yildirim told a news con­fer­ence in Is­tan­bul.

The at­tack, late on Oc­to­ber 9, tar­get­ted a se­cu­rity post in Hakkari prov­ince as se­cu­rity forces were search­ing ve­hi­cles in Semdinli, the of­fi­cial news agency Anadolu said.

The Hakkari gov­er­nor said a ve­hi­cle re­fused to stop as it ap­proached a check­point, prompt­ing sol­diers to re­spond with gun­fire.

Mil­i­tants then also started shoot­ing, the gov­er­nor’s of­fice said, quoted by Do­gan news agency.

An­other 27 peo­ple were in­jured in the blast caused by the out­lawed Kur­dis­tan Work­ers’ Party (PKK), Mr Er­do­gan said. Anadolu re­ported at least 16 of those were civil­ians.

Soon after the at­tack, which Anadolu said left a 7-me­tre (22-foot) deep hole in the road, the mil­i­tary con­firmed it had be­gun a large-scale air op­er­a­tion which the gov­er­nor’s of­fice said was launched to “neu­tralise” PKK mil­i­tants.

The gov­er­nor said com­mando units on the ground were con­tin­u­ing to search for PKK fight­ers.

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Nu­man Kur­tul­mus de­scribed the in­ci­dent as an “atro­cious” and “heinous ter­ror­ist at­tack”, vow­ing on Twit­ter that Turkey would never sur­ren­der to mil­i­tant groups.

The White House said it con­demned “in the strong­est terms the deadly ter­ror­ist at­tack to­day against a mil­i­tary check­point in south­east­ern Turkey that left many dead, in­clud­ing civil­ians, and scores more wounded”.

“We re­main stead­fast in our sup­port for our NATO ally, Turkey, and reaf­firm our com­mit­ment to con­tinue work­ing to­gether to de­feat all forms of ter­ror­ism,” Ned Price, the White House Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil spokesper­son, said in Wash­ing­ton yes­ter­day.

Over the past two months, the mil­i­tary says it has killed a to­tal of 387 PKK mil­i­tants in Hakkari prov­ince, CNN-Turk re­ported.

The PKK has waged a 32-year in­sur­gency against the Turk­ish state, which has left nearly 40,000 dead since 1984. The group is pro­scribed as a ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion by Turkey, the United States and the Eu­ro­pean Union. –

Photo: AFP

Foren­sic of­fi­cers at­tend the scene of a sui­cide bomb­ing in Hay­mana, in the out­skirts of the cap­i­tal Ankara, on Oc­to­ber 8.

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