Turkey: Car bomb by Kurdish rebels at police station kills six including a baby and two young children

Attack comes day after suicide bomber detonates explosives in Istanbul's main tourist district

Laura Pitel
Thursday 14 January 2016 09:03 GMT
Clashes between Turkey's security forces and Kurdish rebels reignited in July (file pic)
Clashes between Turkey's security forces and Kurdish rebels reignited in July (file pic) (Reuters)

A baby and two young children were among six people killed when suspected Kurdish terrorists bombed a police compound in south-eastern Turkey.

No group claimed responsibility for the truck bomb that tore through the police station and lodgings on Wednesday night in Cinar, a small town in Diyarbakir province, but the office of the local governor blamed the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The group, which has been battling the Turkish state for more than 30 years, also opened fire on a nearby security complex, according to the governorate. Another police station was attacked with rocket launchers in Mardin province.

The attacks represent an escalation in the conflict between the PKK and Turkish government, which has killed 40,000 people over three decades. The peace process collapsed in July after months of escalating tensions.

The latest attack came less than 48 hours after an Isis suicide bomber killed 11 tourists in Istanbul. The two bombings at opposite ends of Turkey highlight the dual security challenges facing a nation that is seen as a key Western partner in the battle against Isis and in efforts to control the flow of Syrian refugees.

They will do little to quell fears that the conflict in neighbouring Syria is making Turkey increasingly unstable.

The success of Kurdish forces in Syria has boosted the confidence of their Turkish counterparts and alarmed the government in Ankara, which fears that Kurdish aspirations could threaten Turkey’s territorial integrity.

The PKK, deemed a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and the European Union, argues it is fighting for autonomy within Turkey, and for greater rights for the country’s 15 to 20 million Kurds.

Unlike previous outbreaks of violence in the predominately Kurdish south-eastern region, much of the recent fighting has taking place in urban centres after the PKK’s youth wing declared “autonomous zones”. Civilians have been caught in the middle. A Turkish human rights group recently claimed that 162 had lost their lives.

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