CINAR (Turkey) • Kurdish militants carried out a truck bomb attack on a police station in south-east Turkey overnight, killing six people and wounding 39 in one of the biggest strikes since conflict flared up in the region last July, security officials said yesterday.
Coinciding with the bomb attack, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighters opened fire with rifles and rockets on a nearby security complex, triggering a firefight, but no casualties were reported, the provincial governor's office said in a statement. Security forces have locked down Cinar and launched a major operation to find the assailants, the Dogan news agency reported.
PKK militants attacked the police station and adjoining accommodation in Cinar at around 11.30pm on Wednesday (5.30am Singapore time yesterday), the statement said.
The blast ripped the facade off the building in Cinar and caused extensive damage to the surrounding area, smashing windows, mangling shop shutters and littering the streets with debris, a witness said. A five-month-old baby and two toddlers were among the dead. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
A security source said 1.5 tonnes of explosives were used in the blast. Rescue workers were continuing to search for bodies at the scene.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu strongly condemned the attack and vowed Turkey would continue its fight against "every kind of terror".
The mainly Kurdish region has been hit by a surge in violence since a two-year ceasefire between the state and the PKK collapsed six months ago, reviving an insurgency that has killed 40,000 people over three decades.
The latest blast follows a suicide bomb attack by a suspected Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant which killed 10 German tourists in Istanbul on Tuesday. Seven people have been detained in connection with that suicide bombing at the heart of Istanbul's historic district, Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala said yesterday.
Among those arrested were three Russian citizens. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova said yesterday that one of them, Aidar Suleimanov, is suspected by the Russian authorities of being linked to ISIS.
Turkey was quick to identify the bomber, named by Turkish media as 28-year old Saudi-born Nabil Fadli, who had given his fingerprints a week ago at an immigration centre, claiming to be a refugee from Syria.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE