TURKEY

At least 11 dead and 78 wounded by truck bomb in Turkey after Kurdish rebels target police checkpoint

Turkish security forces have been hit by near daily attacks by the PKK since a two-and-a-half-year ceasefire collapsed in 2015

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 August, 2016, 2:06pm
UPDATED : Friday, 26 August, 2016, 9:30pm

A truck bomb blamed on Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) rebels on Friday exploded outside a police headquarters in Turkey’s southeastern town of Cizre, state media and television said.

Ambulances rushed to the scene and hospital sources said at least 11 people were killed and 78 wounded.

The bomb attack caused immense damage to the headquarters of the special anti-riot police force in Cizre, with television pictures showing an immense plume of black smoke heading into the sky.

There was no immediate information on possible casualties but television quoted the health ministry as saying 12 ambulances and two helicopters had been sent to the scene.

Early pictures showed that the police building had been rendered completely unusable by the power of the blast, reduced to a shell surrounded by a pile of rubble.

The state-run Anadolu news agency said the bomb had gone off 50 metres away from the building at a control post. It said the blast had been carried out by the PKK.

Turkey requests extradition of Fethullah Gulen but not for coup attempt, US says

The Turkish security forces have been hit by near daily attacks by the PKK since a two-and-a-half-year ceasefire collapsed in 2015, leaving hundreds of police and soldiers dead.

The PKK has kept up its assaults in the last weeks even after the unsuccessful July 15 coup by rogue elements in the military aimed at unseating President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The latest attack comes two days after Turkish forces launched an unprecedented offensive in neighbouring Syria which the authorities say is aimed both at jihadists and Syrian Kurdish militia.

Turkey on Thursday shelled the Kurdish militia fighters in Syria, saying they were failing to observe a deal with the US to stop advancing in jihadist-held territory.

Ankara sees the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia as terror groups bent on carving out an autonomous region in Syria and acting as the Syrian branch of the PKK.