Posted on August 2, 2016 by Editorial Staff in PKK
Road mine targets Turkish police in Tunceli, Turkish Kurdistan. Photo: DHA
BINGOL, Turkey’s Kurdish region,— Five Turkish police were killed on Monday when Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants detonated a bomb that struck a police vehicle in Turkish Kurdistan, the Kurdish region in eastern Turkey, a local governor said.
Kurdish rebels detonated the device as the bus carrying police special forces was passing by, Bingol province governor Yavuz Selim Kosger said, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.
Four other police officers were seriously injured, he added.
The attack comes as Turkey continues to crack down on the alleged plotters of the July 15 coup.
However Turkish authorities have played down concerns that the massive purge will weaken the army’s fight against Kurdish rebels.
Five days after the coup, Turkish warplanes dropped bombs on Kurdish rebel bases in northern Iraq for the first time since the abortive putsch.
Since July 2015, Turkey initiated a controversial military campaign against the PKK in the country’s southeastern Kurdish region after Ankara ended a two-year ceasefire agreement. Since the beginning of the campaign, Ankara has imposed several round-the-clock curfews, preventing civilians from fleeing regions where the military operations are being conducted.
Observers say the crackdown has taken a heavy toll on the Kurdish civilian population and accuse Turkey of using collective punishment against the minority. Activists have accused the security forces of causing huge destruction to urban centres and killing Kurdish civilians.
Pro-Kurdish opposition political parties say about 1,000 civilians, mostly Kurds, have perished in the fighting, since the Turkish offensive against the PKK centred in towns and cities in Turkish Kurdistan.
The PKK took up arms in 1984 against the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to push for greater autonomy for the Kurdish minority who make up around 22.5 million of the country’s 78-million population.
A large Turkey’s Kurdish community openly sympathise with PKK rebels.