Two officers killed, 35 wounded in massive car bomb attack
DHA PhotoTwo Turkish police officers have been killed and 35 other people wounded in a massive car bomb attack carried out by militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the country’s southeastern town of Nusaybin amid a fresh offensive by the militant group that killed two soldiers in another town nearby.
The two officers, identified as Ercan Günay and Murat Dündar, were killed early March 4 after PKK militants detonated a bomb placed inside a car in Nusaybin, a district in the southeastern Mardin province. Some 35 other people, including civilians, were wounded in the attack.
PKK militants staged the attack on a traffic branch office in the İpekyolu neighborhood of Nusaybin at 5:45 a.m. on March 4, the Mardin Governor’s Office said in a written statement.
The explosion was followed by clashes as militants opened fire with long-barreled weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, and the police responded with fire.
Meanwhile, a fire erupted inside the police building and adjacent lodgings due to the impact of the explosion.
The governor’s office said two police officers were killed in the attack, while 35 people from police families and two civilians were also wounded.
“The two wounded are in surgery at Mardin Public Hospital while two others are in surgery at Kızıltepe Public Hospital,” it said, adding that lightly injured persons were being treated at Nusaybin Public Hospital.
The two, identified as Specialized Sergeant Musa Yılmaz and Lieutenant Mehmet Çiftçi, were killed on March 4 during an ongoing counterterrorism operation targeting PKK militants in the southeastern town that was started on Feb. 18.
Turkey has stepped up efforts in fight against militancy in its southeast, specifically with ground operations targeting homes and shelters used by PKK militants. Local administration officials impose curfews on the southeastern towns which they think need to be “cleared of terrorists” to prevent civilian casualties during military operations.
Nusaybin, İdil and Sur, a district in southeastern Diyarbakır province, have seen months-long curfews that subjected local residents to power blackouts, food and water shortages and destroyed neighborhoods. Fierce clashes between PKK militants and security forces have also halted education and health services in the towns placed under curfew. Turkish authorities have taken some measures for civilians willing to leave the towns under curfew.
A total of 43 people have been evacuated from various neighborhoods in Sur in the last 24 hours amid ongoing counterterror operations, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on March 3.
The evacuations came as security forces and the Diyarbakır Governor’s Office received information that some people had “demanded to leave their neighborhoods” where operations were ongoing.
Following the residents’ calls, ambulances were sent to the area as security forces temporarily halted operations and evacuated 14 people, including five children, three women and two wounded persons.
A dead body was also taken during the evacuation. While the wounded were sent to hospitals, the others were taken to a police station.
Previously, 29 people including one baby, 10 children and five women were evacuated from the area upon calls received by the governor’s office.
A military operation has been underway in the neighborhoods of Cevatpaşa, Fatihpaşa, Dabanoğlu, Hasırlı, Cemal Yılmaz and Savaş, all placed under curfew, in the Sur district since Nov. 28, 2015. As part of operation, security forces have attempted to capture PKK members, “maintain public order,” remove barricades, fill trenches and dismantle explosives.