Monday 11 December 2017

Two Turkish police killed in Kurdish car bombing

The attack targeted a traffic police station as well as police lodgings in the town of Nusaybin in south-east Turkey
The attack targeted a traffic police station as well as police lodgings in the town of Nusaybin in south-east Turkey

Kurdish rebels have detonated a car bomb near a police station in south-eastern Turkey, killing two police officers and wounding 35 people, officials said.

The attack targeted a traffic police station and lodgings in the town of Nusaybin, near the Syrian border, where security forces are battling militants linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

A fragile two-year-old peace process between Turkey's government and the PKK collapsed in July, reviving a three decades-old conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people. Hundreds - many of them police and soldiers - have died in the renewed fighting.

The governor's office for Mardin province said the explosion wounded 35 people, most of them police or family members. Four were being operated on, although their injuries were not life-threatening.

The explosion caused extensive damage to the police lodgings and left a large crater in the road, images published by the private Dogan news agency showed.

The PKK, considered a terror organisation by Turkey and its allies, is fighting for autonomy in Turkey's mostly Kurdish south east.

The attack in Nusaybin comes amid a surge of violence in Turkey.

Last month, a suicide car bombing that targeted buses carrying military personnel in the capital, Ankara, killed 29 people. A Kurdish militant group that is an offshoot of the PKK claimed that attack.

On Thursday, police in Istanbul killed two female militants of banned far-left group the Revolutionary People's Liberation Army-Front, or DHKP-C, who had hidden inside a building after attacking police with gunfire and a hand grenade.

Some 145 people have died since July in three separate suicide bomb attacks that authorities have blamed on the Islamic State group, including 12 German tourists who were killed in Istanbul's historic Sultanahmet district on January 12.

Turkey's Justice Ministry has submitted a formal request for parliament to lift the legal immunity of the two co-chairmen of the country's pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party, or HDP, and three other legislators, so they can be prosecuted for alleged links to the rebels, the Anadolu news agency said.

The move follows accusations by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the HDP is the political wing of the PKK and his calls for parliament to remove their immunity, which shields legislators from prosecution.

Press Association

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