PKK claims attack against police in southeast Turkey

PKK claims attack against police in southeast Turkey
The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party issued a statement identifying the bomber as Dirok Amed.
2 min read
10 June, 2016
Turkey is suffering from a surge of violence since last summer [Getty]

A Kurdish rebel group has claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing at a police station in southeastern Turkey.

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, issued a statement on Thursday identifying the bomber as "Dirok Amed."

The attack in the town of Midyat on Wednesday killed three police officers and three civilians.

Turkish officials also suspect the PKK – considered by Ankara and its allies to be a terrorist group – was behind a Tuesday car bomb attack in Istanbul. That attack targeted a police vehicle during morning rush hour and killed 11 people.

Turkey is suffering from a surge of violence since last summer when a fragile truce with the Kurdish rebels collapsed. The PKK has fought the Turkish state for decades in a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.

Since the start of the year, Turkey has been hit by a sequence of attacks that have rattled citizens and also caused tourism to plummet.

Two separate blasts in Ankara claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) – a radical splinter group of the PKK – claimed dozens of lives earlier this year.

Last month, at least eight people including soldiers were wounded by a remotely detonated car bomb aimed at a military vehicle in Istanbul that was claimed by the PKK.

Meanwhile, a dozen German tourists were killed on January 12 in a bombing in the heart of Istanbul's tourist district blamed on Islamic State [IS] group militants.

At least three Israelis and an Iranian were killed in a 19 March bombing on Istanbul's main Istiklal shopping street which was also pinned on IS militants.

The attacks in Turkey's heartland have had a dire effect on the tourism industry and further violence in Istanbul comes at the worst possible time heading into the key summer season.

Some 1.75 million foreigners came to Turkey in April, down more than 28 percent on April 2015, the tourism ministry said in its latest release.

The fall was the steepest monthly decrease for 17 years and raised fresh concerns about the health of the industry heading into the crucial summer season.

The US embassy in Turkey in April warned of "credible threats" to tourist areas in Istanbul and the resort city of Antalya, in particular to public squares and docks.

Agencies contributed to this report