PKK militants open fire at military hospital in Turkey’s east
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
AFP photoMembers of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have opened fire at a military hospital in the eastern province of Bitlis, with no casualties reported, as Turkey continues to be roiled by an epidemic of violent attacks against its security forces.
Unidentified militants from the PKK opened fire at the hospital located on Cumhuriyet Street in the Tatvan district with long-barreled weapons from a roof of a nearby building around 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 2, the Bitlis Governor’s Office said in a written statement early Aug. 3.
No casualties were reported in the attack, despite severe damage to the hospital’s watch-box inside the compound, it said, adding the assailants fled the scene in a black car.
The search for the assailants was ongoing, it also said.
The epidemic of violence has struck the country on both sides of its border with Syrian, with a rising number of armed assaults and intense security measures across Turkey, its eastern and southeastern regions in particular.
Two Turkish soldiers were injured in the explosion of a landmine planted by members of the PKK in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır early Aug. 3.
The explosion occurred between the Bayrambaşı and Onbaşılar neighborhoods in Diyarbakır’s Silvan district around 5:40 a.m. on Aug. 3, while the soldiers were heading to the Silvan dam in a military vehicle.
In the eastern province of Şırnak late Aug. 2, members of the PKK opened fire at Turkish military troops based on Küpeli Mountain, with no casualties or physical damage reported.
Military helicopters from the Şırnak Gendarmerie 23rd Border Division Command were dispatched to the scene and military troops exchanged fire in short clashes with PKK militants, who disappeared after the clashes.
The Tuceli Governor’s Office said in a press release on Aug. 3 that the road connecting the eastern provinces of Tunceli and Erzincan had been blocked to prevent terrorists from attacking Turkish citizens.
A total of 14 areas in Tunceli were declared “military security zones,” the governor’s office said in a written statement on Aug. 2, adding civilians would not be allowed in these zones between Aug. 4 and 19.
Seven areas in central Tunceli along with seven other areas in the districts of Ovacık, Hozat, Mazgirt and Nazimiye were declared special security zones as a measure to assure security and public order in the wake of terrorist attacks inside Tunceli, the governor’s office said.
Among those declared a special security zone was a PKK cemetery located near Alacık village, it added.
The governor’s office in the eastern province of Ağrı, meanwhile, said in a press release that Mount Ararat and the Tendürek mountain of Ağrı, two key areas considered to be PKK footholds, were declared “military zones” for 15 days to prevent civilian casualties in military operations to be conducted in the following days.
The statement came hours after militants from the PKK carried out a tractor bomb attack on a gendarmerie station in Ağrı’s Doğubayazıt district, which killed two soldiers and injured more than 30 others early Aug. 2.
Mansur Cengiz, 21, one of the dead, was buried at a funeral ceremony in the eastern province of Siirt on Aug. 3.