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Officials: 7 killed in 2 PKK attacks in Turkey

Associated Press

ANKARA, Turkey – Kurdish rebels on Wednesday carried out two simultaneous attacks on police vehicles in the mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey, killing seven people and wounding dozens of others, an official said.

The official said rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, detonated a roadside bomb in the town of Kiziltepe, in Mardin province, killing three people and wounding at least 25. They included at least five children aged between 2 and 5, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations.

At the same time, a car bomb explosion targeting police in a historic part of the city Diyarbakir killed at least four civilians and wounded 13 others, the official said.

The attacks came hours after an earlier attack, also blamed on the PKK, killed four soldiers and injured nine others near the border with Iraq. The private Dogan news agency said that attack targeted military vehicles and was carried out with improvised explosives as well as rockets fired from northern Iraq.

Clashes between the PKK and Turkey’s security forces resumed last year after a tenuous cease-fire collapsed and the PKK has frequently targeted police or military with roadside explosives or car bombs.

Wednesday’s attacks, however, came as the country is still reeling from a violent coup attempt on July 15 that killed at least 270 people. The government has blamed the failed coup on the supporters of U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen and has embarked on a sweeping crackdown on his followers.

The country is also combating the Islamic State group, whose militants have carried out a series of bloody attacks in Turkey in the past year.

Since hostilities with the PKK resumed last summer, more than 600 Turkish security personnel and thousands of PKK militants have been killed, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency. Human rights groups say hundreds of civilians have also died.

Turkey and its allies consider the PKK a terror organization.

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