Violence in Turkey: Attacks across country leave nine dead in single day

 

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The Independent Online

Turkey has endured one of its most violent days in recent weeks after Kurdish insurgents launched a series of attacks in different parts of the country, including the US consulate in the capital Istanbul.

Nine people were killed and 11 wounded in a day of violence saw a roadside blast in Silopi, close to the Iraq border, in which four police officers were killed and one badly wounded. The attacks are not thought to have been connected.

An overnight bomb attack at a police station in Istanbul injured three policemen and seven civilians and caused a fire that collapsed part of the three-story building. The suspected bomber was killed during the explosion, according to the Istanbul governor's office.

Unknown assailants later fired on police inspecting the scene of the explosion, sparking another gunfight with police that killed a police officer and two others.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the state-run Anadolu Agency said it was carried out by the PKK.

Meanwhile, violence intensified between security forces and Kurdish rebels in the mainly Kurdish southeast on Monday, where rebels in the province of Sirnak fired at a helicopter carrying conscripts, killing one and injuring another, the military said. 

Four policemen were also killed in Sirnak when their armoured vehicle was attacked with a roadside bomb, the Dogan news agency reported.

The growing unrest – marked by a surge of PKK attacks in response to government air-strikes against the group – threatens to rekindle a conflict that has claimed more than 30,000 lives over the past three decades.

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) claimed  the attack in a statement on its website, which described the US as the "chief enemy of people in the Middle East and in the world".

No one was hurt in the attack on the US Consulate, which came just weeks after Turkey agreed to take a more active role in the US-led campaign against Isis. Hours after the attack, police wearing flak jackets and holding machine guns blocked off streets leading to the consulate. The building, which is surrounded by fortified walls, was intact and its flag was flying.

On Sunday, the US military announced that a detachment of six F-16 fighter jets and some 300 personnel had arrived at Turkey's southern Incirlik Air Base after the country officially joined the US-led coalition against Isis last month.

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