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PKK Truck Bomb Kills 18 in Southeast Turkey - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Eighteen people were killed and many others wounded after Kurdish militants detonated a truck bomb outside a military station in the southeastern Turkish town of Semdinli, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported Sunday.

Citing a statement by the Turkish Armed Forces, the Anadolu Agency said the attack outside the Gendarmerie station was the work of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.

The privately-owned Dogan news agency said the explosion occurred during vehicle searches on the road in front of the police station.

Among the 18 dead were ten soldiers and eight civilians.

Turkey has been rocked by a wave of bomb attacks since last summer that have killed hundreds of people and been blamed on either the PKK or ISIS.

Fighting between the PKK and the state security forces resumed last year after the collapse of a fragile 2 ½-year cease-fire. Since then, more than 600 Turkish security personnel and thousands of PKK militants have been killed, according to Anadolu.

On Saturday, two people suspected of planning a car bomb attack on the Turkish capital Ankara blew themselves up after being confronted by police, averting what the justice minister called a “huge disaster”.

The suspects, who both died in the explosion, were believed to be preparing an attack when they set off the explosives, Anadolu said.

“A huge disaster has been prevented. It is probable they would have attacked Ankara…. All signs are pointing to the PKK terrorist organization,” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told the CNN-Turk broadcaster.

Ankara governor Ercan Topaca told reporters at the scene it was “highly likely” that the suspects had connections to PKK.

Bozdag said Turkey was in a “critical position” in the region and referred to “sources of terror” in Syria and Iraq where conflict is raging.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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