Two soldiers killed, 31 injured in PKK suicide attack in Turkey’s east
AĞRI / MARDİN
DHA photoTwo soldiers were killed and 31 injured Aug. 2 in a suicide attack by outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in the eastern province of Ağrı.
PKK militants attacked a gendarmerie station in Doğubeyazıt in the Ağrı province, close to Turkey’s border with Iran, with a tractor laden with a two-ton bomb around 3 a.m.
The two soldiers who were killed in the blast in Ağrı were named as gendarmerie private Mahsur Cengiz and Gerdarmerie private Medet Mat. Cengiz’s body was sent to the southeastern province of Siirt while Mat’s body was sent to the southeastern province of Adıyaman for funerals.
The injured soldiers were taken to a local hospital while the PKK militants staged an ambush to prevent reinforcements and medical teams from reaching the station. Eight soldiers, who were critically wounded, were also transferred to Erzurum with military helicopters.
Four of the 31 soldiers injured in the attack on Karabulak Gendarmerie patrol in which PKK militants also used rifles were in life-threatening condition, Turkish general staff said in a statement on Aug. 2. Operations are ongoing on the Doğubayazıt-Iğdır highway, which closed to traffic after the attack, in order to find the militants.
Meanwhile, specialized sergeant Ali Gökçe, 35, who was killed in the attack, was laid to rest in western province of Osmaniye on Aug. 2 following an official ceremony held in Kağızman district of Kars. Gökçe was among the soldiers who was dispatched to the Erzurum-Iğdır highway for an inspection a day after several vehicles were set on fire by PKK militants.
The attack came a day after one soldier was killed and seven were injured in a separate PKK attack in the Midyat district of the southeastern province of Mardin. The attack took place on Aug. 1, when a mine exploded as a military vehicle was passing by. The vehicle, carrying several soldiers, was travelling in Midyat’s Şenköy and Gelinkaya neighborhoods as part of a mission to protect the Kirkuk-Yumurtalık pipeline.
Gendarmerie Commando Private Barış Akkabak, 20, who died in the mine explosion, was laid to rest in the Serik district of Antalya after an official military ceremony, held in Midyat.
Akkabak’s mother, Kadriye, died in 2003 and he was raised by his grandmother Havva and grandfather Ramazan in Serik, while his other two siblings were given up for adoption.
Meanwhile, on July 31, three militants from the PKK and the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK) were captured dead in an operation, Ağrı Governor’s office said in a statement. The explosives and guns they were planning to use in their attacks were also seized, said the statement.