Blast caused huge damage to the residential building used by the police officers and their families
Security sources have said the death toll following a car bomb attack on a police station in Turkey has risen to six. Early reports said five had died and 39 were wounded in the attack, which took place in the south eastern town of Cinar last night.
Militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) attacked the police station and adjoining accommodation in the town south of Diyarbakir, the region’s largest city, around 11.30pm (9.30pm Irish time), the governor’s office said in a statement. The mainly Kurdish region has been hit by a surge in violence since a two-year ceasefire between the state and the PKK collapsed last July, reigniting a conflict that has killed more than 40,000 people over three decades.
Coinciding with the bomb attack, PKK fighters opened fire with rifles on a nearby security complex, triggering a firefight, but no casualties were reported, the statement said. The relatives of two police officers were killed in the car bomb attack, along with three people whose bodies were pulled from the wreckage, it added. Six police officers were among the wounded being treated in nearby hospitals.
The PKK, designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and the EU, said it is fighting for autonomy and greater rights for Kurds in the NATO-member country. Since the PKK launched its insurgency in 1984, fighting has stayed largely in the countryside, but the latest violence has focused on urban areas, where the PKK youth wing has set up barricades and dug trenches to keep out security forces.
Towns along the Syrian and Iraqi borders, along with a district of Diyarbakir, have been subjected to round-the-clock curfew for more than a month, as operations by security forces have targeted militants there. Civilians have been caught in the middle. Figures from the pro-Kurdish HDP party show 87 civilians have been killed in Diyarbakir’s Sur and two towns near the southern borders since they were placed under curfew last month.
Thousands of people have left their homes in the towns. Residents complain of indiscriminate operations and say the curfews have even prevented the sick from getting to hospital.