Turkey, Ankara: Two Turkish police officers 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.
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 attack came amid another offensive by the militant group that killed two Turkish soldiers in İdil, a district in the southeastern province of Şırnak. 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.