PKK militant preparing for bomb attack killed in clash with police in Turkey’s Malatya

PKK militant preparing for bomb attack killed in clash with police in Turkey’s Malatya

PKK militant preparing for bomb attack killed in clash with police in Turkey’s Malatya

DHA photo

An outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant was killed in an armed clash with police in the eastern province of Malatya early on June 2, Doğan News Agency has reported.

A local in the central Yeşilyurt district informed police of a militant who was loading bombs that he had previously buried in a cemetery on a vehicle.

An armed clash erupted after the militant, identified as Hüseyin Gümüş, refused to obey surrender calls and was subsequently killed.

Speaking at a press conference, Malatya Governor Mustafa Toprak said Gümüş arrived at the province on May 31 and he was scouting public institutions to stage the attack.

He also stated that a fake identity card, a Kalashnikov rifle and its four clips, around 500 kilograms of ammonium nitrate inside eight barrels, around 1.5 kilograms of plastic explosives, eight bomb-set ups along with various ammunitions were seized.

According to Toprak, Gümüş joined the PKK in March 2016 from the western province of İzmir and he had likely been plotting a car bomb or suicide attack.

In addition, a Malatya court on June 2 ordered the arrest of five people on charges of engaging in PKK propaganda and aiding and abetting the organization.

Two others were released on probation.

Earlier in the day, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) stated that a total of 92 PKK militants were “neutralized” during security forces’ operations conducted over the past week in the country’s eastern and southeastern regions.

Authorities use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply the militants in question were either killed, wounded or captured. 

The military stated that the operations were conducted in Şırnak’s Beytüşşebap district, Bester-Dereler and Mount Cudi, Hakkari’s Yüksekova, Diyarbakır’s Lice, Bingöl’s Genç, Elazığ’s Arıcak, Erzurum’s Şenkaya, Ardahan’s Göle and Hatay, Osmaniye and Gaziantep provinces between May 25 and June 1.

Among the “neutralized” militants were one Syrian-origin militant and a regional representative of the organization, according to the military.

The military also stated that 23 soldiers were killed in those operations including 13 who had been killed in a helicopter crash in Şırnak on May 31 and another 11 were wounded.

It also added that two anti-tank missiles, four mortars, eleven rocket-launchers, ten machine guns, two anti-tank machine guns, one bomb launcher, 61 infantry rifles, two sharpshooters, four guns and 64 hand-grenades were seized in the operations.

A total of 55 sanctuaries and caves used by the militants were also destroyed, it said.

Meanwhile, the Diyarbakır Governor’s Office announced the end of a curfew declared in 43 villages of the Lice, Hani, Kocaköy and Dicle districts on May 30.

Security forces also detained another 12 suspects during searches in five villages of Diyarbakır on June 1, including a suspect who was one of the suspects of a car bomb attack targeting the Elazığ police headquarters which killed three police officers in August 2016.