Kurdish militants launched a car bomb attack on a police station in Turkey’s southeastern town of Cinar overnight, killing six people and wounding 39, the provincial governor’s office said yesterday.
Militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attacked the police station and adjoining accommodation in the town south of Diyarbakir, the region’s largest city, at about 11:30pm, the governor’s office said in a statement.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
The mainly Kurdish region has been hit by a surge in violence since a two-year ceasefire between the state and the PKK collapsed in July last year, reigniting a conflict that has killed more than 40,000 people over three decades.
A witness at the scene said the blast caused extensive damage around the police station, smashing windows on buildings and vehicles and mangling the shutters on shops in streets littered with shrapnel.
“It was a really loud blast, as if it was in our house,” said Ali Devran, a resident in his 30s near the scene.
“We went and helped carry the wounded to ambulances. Some suffered burns,” Devran added.
Coinciding with the bomb attack, PKK fighters opened fire with rifles on a nearby security complex, triggering a firefight, but no casualties were reported, the statement said.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu yesterday said a five-month-old baby was among the dead in Cinar.
Security sources said a one-year-old and a five-year-old had also died, along with a police officer and an unnamed fifth person, and 39 people were wounded, including six police officers.
The PKK, designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and the EU, said it is fighting for autonomy and greater rights for Kurds in the NATO-member nation.
Since the PKK launched its insurgency in 1984, fighting has stayed largely in the countryside, but the latest violence has focused on urban areas, where the PKK youth wing has set up barricades and dug trenches to keep out security forces.
Towns along the Syrian and Iraqi borders, along with a district of Diyarbakir, have been subjected to round-the-clock curfew for more than a month, as operations by security forces have targeted militants there.
Civilians have been caught in the middle. Figures from the pro-Kurdish Halklar Demokratik Partisi (HDP) show 87 civilians have been killed in Diyarbakir’s Sur and two towns near the southern borders since they were placed under curfew last month.
Thousands of people have left their homes in the towns. Residents complain of indiscriminate operations and said the curfews have even prevented the sick from getting to hospital.
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
ACADEMIC FREEDOM: One professor told her students to submit anonymized papers and not to record any online classes. Some US schools have announced similar steps Students at Oxford University specializing in the study of China are being asked to submit some papers anonymously to protect them from the possibility of retribution under the sweeping new security law introduced three months ago in Hong Kong. The anonymity ruling is to be applied in classes, and group tutorials are to be replaced by one-to-ones. Students are also to be warned that it will be viewed as a disciplinary offence if they tape classes or share them with outside groups. The Hong Kong National Security Law was imposed on June 30 by Beijing after more than a year of pro-democracy
Japan’s government yesterday urged people to seek help if they were struggling to cope, following Sunday’s death of the popular actress and Miss Sherlock star Yuko Takeuchi, 40. News of her death shocked the nation and follows other recent cases of Japanese celebrities taking their lives, with figures showing a recent rise in suicides. Takeuchi was a household name in Japan and had given birth to her second child in January. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato did not mention a particular case, but said that some people were struggling to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There has been an uptick in the number
China on Thursday lashed out at the US at a high-level UN meeting over its criticism on the COVID-19 pandemic, with its envoy declaring, “Enough is enough.” Two days after US President Donald Trump used his annual address to the General Assembly to attack China’s record, US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft, also took an outraged tone — after which her Chinese counterpart showed palpable anger. “I must say, enough is enough. You have created enough troubles for the world already,” Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun (張軍) told a Security Council meeting on global governance attended through videoconference