Two soldiers killed in PKK suicide attack in Turkey

Two soldiers killed in PKK suicide attack in Turkey
Two Turkish soldiers were killed and 31 were wounded early Sunday in a suicide bombing blamed on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in eastern Turkey.
2 min read
02 August, 2015
PKK has stepped up attacks against the security forces recently. [Getty]

Two soldiers were killed and 31 were wounded in a suicide bombing attack overnight, blamed on outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey's eastern province of Agri, the local governor's office said in a statement on Sunday.

The attack was carried out with a tractor loaded with two tonnes of explosives on a gendarmarie outpost located in the Dogubeyazit district of eastern Agri province, bordering Iran, the governor's office said.

The soldiers were deployed with the local Jandarma (Gendarmerie), a branch of the army which looks after internal security in Turkey. 

Map Turkey Syria Iraq
The attack was blamed on the PKK, which has stepped up attacks against the security forces in the last days as Turkish warplanes bomb its positions in northern Iraq. 

In a separate incident also blamed on the PKK, one Turkish soldier was killed and four wounded early Sunday when a mine exploded as their convoy was travelling on a road in the Midyat district of the Mardin province in southeastern Turkey, Anatolia said.

The PKK's insurgency for greater rights and powers for Turkey's Kurdish minority has claimed tens of thousands of lives since it began more than 30 years ago. The current fighting has left a 2013 ceasefire in tatters. 

According to an AFP toll, at least 17 members of the security forces have now been killed in attacks blamed on the PKK since the current crisis erupted last week.

The attack in Agri province is believed to be the first time the PKK is accused of deploying a suicide bomber in the current phase of the conflict, although it has used the tactic repeatedly in the past. 

Ten suspected members of the PKK have also lost their lives in clashes during the current surge in tensions, according to Anatolia. 

Turkey denies killing civilians

The Turkish military on Sunday said it found no evidence that several civilians were killed in an air strike against fighters from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq. 

Iraqi Kurdish officials said Saturday six people had been killed in a pre-dawn strike by Turkish war planes on the village of Zargala in northern Iraq.  

Pro-Kurdish media described the attack as a "massacre" which had left at least nine civilians dead.    

Turkey said said the air operation early Saturday was aimed at a camp used by the PKK for logistics and coordination purposes,  but it also accused the PKK of using "civilians as human shields".