Thursday 19 April 2018

Four killed in bomb attack targeting police in Turkey

The attack took place in the mainly Kurdish town of Silopi
The attack took place in the mainly Kurdish town of Silopi

Four people have died after Kurdish rebels detonated a bomb as a police vehicle passed by in south-east Turkey.

The Anadolu Agency said 19 other people - five of them police officers - were injured in Monday's attack in the mainly Kurdish town of Silopi. Some of them are in a serious condition.

The Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, has attacked police and military personnel several times since a cease-fire between the rebels and the Turkish government collapsed last summer.

Turkey's security forces have launched large-scale military operations to flush out the rebels, including in Silopi.

An estimated 500 Turkish security personnel have been killed in attacks or in conflict with the Kurdish rebels, according to the military, which claims to have killed 4,900 PKK militants in operations in Turkey and northern Iraq.

Limited access to conflict areas in the south-east has made it difficult to verify casualty figures.

Earlier on Monday, authorities partially lifted curfews in two more Kurdish areas where the operations caused extensive damage to housing.

The Turkish government has promised to reconstruct all areas destroyed in the fighting.

Deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus said that 6,320 buildings have been damaged amid the fighting in five south-eastern towns, affecting about 11,000 apartments.

He put the estimated cost of demolishing and rebuilding the affected structures - in the districts of Sur, Silopi, Cizre, Idil and Yuksekova - at approximately 855 million Turkish lira (£197 million).

The curfew was relaxed at 5am on Monday in the Yuksekova district and a village in Hakkari province.

A nighttime curfew, however, will remain from 8pm to 5am, according to local officials. The curfew will be loosened further during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, which this year begins in June.

Human rights groups have repeatedly raised concerns over dozens of civilian casualties caused by the military operations.

Press Association

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