Three police officers killed in attack in Turkey’s north

Three police officers killed in attack in Turkey’s north

TRABZON – Doğan News Agency
Three police officers killed in attack in Turkey’s north Unknown assailants opened fire on police officers on July 19 in the Maçka district of the Black Sea province of Trabzon, killing three of them.

Five officers and a civilian were also injured, according to local authorities.    
Trabzon Gov. Yücel Yavuz said in a statement that a “terrorist group” had attacked police officers on duty at a checkpoint in the Maçka district of Trabzon province at 8:30 a.m.  
A police source speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media said the group attacked the officers from a mountainside 50 meters away using hand grenades and rifles before escaping.        
Security forces were using a drone to find the group.      
Bomb disposal units carried out a controlled explosion under the police car, in which a hand grenade was found.        

Meanwhile, a group of armed citizens headed toward the forested area to apprehend the assailants, as clashes were reported.

Routes in and out of Maçka district were blocked after the attack and the Trabzon-Gümüşhane highway passing through the district was closed to traffic for half an hour.
Armed attacks are not common in northern Turkey.
In 2005, police teams in Maçka, acting on a tip-off, carried out ID checks in a supermarket in the district. A clash erupted between three suspected militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and police officers. One militant was killed and the two others were held separately.  
The PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU – resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015.        

Since then, nearly 600 security personnel, including troops, police officers and village guards, as well as more than 5,000 PKK militants have been killed in operations across Turkey and northern Iraq, according to official data.