PKK militant killed after ordering deadly attack on lodgings in Turkey’s southeast
ŞANLIURFAA senior figure from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who was killed during an operation in southeastern province of Mardin on Feb. 17 had previously ordered a car bomb attack that killed two people at lodgings housing judicial personnel in Şanlıurfa later in the day, authorities have alleged.
The PKK militant, Yaşar Uygur, codenamed “Behzat,” was killed at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 17, while the car bomb attack occurred in the Viranşehir district of Şanlıurfa around two hours later.
Uygur, who was allegedly the group’s commander in Mardin, was one of two who ordered the deadly attack in Şanlıurfa, according to daily Habertürk.
The other, İshak Özçaktu (“Porsipi”) is reportedly hiding from security forces in a rural area of Diyarbakır’s Lice district.
Meanwhile, police also stated that they found Katyusha missiles in the shelter where Uygur was killed.
Authorities alleged that the missiles were set to be used in attacks on locations that were scouted by PKK militants in Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir and Kocaeli.
Uygur and Özçaktu were also reportedly behind attacks that have killed at least 150 people across Turkey.
Two people, including an 11-year-old child, were killed and 15 others were wounded in the car bomb attack on the lodgings for judiciary personnel in Viranşehir.
The 11-year-old, Ahmet Oktay Günak, was out to feed a cat he was taking care of outside their house, said the boy’s father, Mustafa Günak.
One of the guards of the neighborhood, İbrahim Kete, was also killed in the attack. He was found dead under the rubble after the explosion.
The attack, which took place at around 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 17, was so loud it caused temporary hearing loss.
Şanlıurfa Gov. Güngör Azim Tuna said one ton of explosives was planted in a car that was parked outside the lodgings before being detonated with remote control.
The governor said the PKK was responsible for the attack. Police have detained 26 people in connection with the assault.
Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Faruk Çelik and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ went to the district to inspect the site of the attack and visit the wounded.
“The vehicle was detonated just as a security guard who saw it being parked was about to intervene with a gun,” Soylu told reporters in Viranşehir on Feb. 18, adding that the blast caused damage to 14 buildings nearby.
Eleven people were still being treated in hospital, Soylu said, including two in intensive care.
“As of last night, a total of 26 people had been detained, while our security forces are conducting the necessary work,” he added.
A previous statement from the Şanlıurfa Governor’s Office said the owner of the vehicle used in the attack was among those being held.