Turkey attacks: Deadly violence in Istanbul and Sirnak

In south-eastern Sirnak province, four police officers were killed by a roadside bomb and a soldier died when gunmen fired on a military helicopter.

In Istanbul, a police officer was killed in clashes after a car bombing.

Meanwhile, the city’s US consulate was attacked by two assailants. A leftist group said it carried out that attack.

The outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army Front (DHKP-C) made the claim in a statement on its website, which described the US as the “chief enemy of people in the Middle East and in the world”.

One of the two women assailants in the attack on the consulate was wounded and detained, and a rifle and other weaponry were seized, Istanbul’s governor said in a statement.

The DHKP-C named the detained woman as Hatice Asik.

The group previously claimed a 2013 suicide attack on the US embassy in the capital, Ankara.

The US consulate said in a tweet that it was closed until further notice.

In the other attack in Istanbul, on a police station in the district of Sultanbeyli, a car bomb was detonated killing one attacker and injuring 10 people, including three police officers.

Two suspected militants and a police bomb disposal expert were killed in ensuing clashes. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan later attended the policeman’s funeral, which was broadcast live on TV.

Turkey had been bracing itself for retaliatory attacks since it started to conduct operations against the so-called Islamic State and the Kurdish PKK militants last month.

In the last couple of weeks more than 20 security officers have been killed, byattacks mostly blamed on the PKK.

Today has been one of the most violent days. In four different attacks, nine people were killed – six of whom were soldiers or policemen. As yet no connection has been made between any of these attacks.

The prime minister and the main opposition leader are currently holding a final round of coalition talks. The opposition leader said it was time for politicians to get together and find a solution to this violence.

Whether that will be possible is a question that is haunting many people in Turkey.

In Sirnak province, four police officers were killed when their armoured vehicle was hit by roadside explosives in the town of Silopi.

A soldier was also killed when suspected Kurdish militants fired on a military helicopter as it was taking off in Beytussebap district. At least seven other soldiers were wounded.

Later Turkish media reported simultaneous attacks on police and military headquarters in the town of Lice in Diyarbakir province. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Following the helicopter attack, Turkish helicopters bombed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in retaliation.

A ceasefire in the long-running conflict with the group appeared to disintegrate in July, when Turkey began bombing PKK camps in northern Iraq, at the same time as launching air strikes on Islamic State (IS) militants.

PKK leader Cemil Bayik has accused Turkey of trying to protect IS by attacking Kurdish fighters.

“They are doing it to limit the PKK’s fight against IS. Turkey is protecting IS,” hetold the BBC in an interview.

Kurdish fighters – among them the PKK – have secured significant victories against IS in Syria and Iraq.

But Turkey, like a number of Western countries, considers the PKK a terrorist organisation.




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