Two police officers have been killed and at least 19 other people injured in a bomb attack blamed on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey’s eastern province of Bingol.
According to Turkey’s Anadolu news agency, suspected PKK militants detonated a bomb-laden car as a police vehicle, transporting officers, was traveling near a district governor’s office in the town of Genc during the early hours of Sunday.
The blast came hours after an attempted assault overnight by suspected PKK militants on the district governor’s home in the region. The assailants attempted to target the building with long-range rifles and rocket launchers but they fled the scene when security forces opened fire on them.
A shaky ceasefire between the PKK, which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region since 1984, and the Turkish government was declared null and void by the militants in July 2015, following Turkish strikes against PKK positions.
Over the past few months, Turkish ground and air forces have been engaged in operations against the PKK in Turkey’s troubled southeastern border region as well as Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region and northern Syria.
The campaign was launched after more than 30 civilians lost their lives in a July 2015 bomb attack in the southern Turkish town of Suruc. Turkish authorities held the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group accountable for the act of terror. The PKK, which accuses Ankara of sponsoring Daesh, launched a series of reprisal attacks against Turkish security forces after the bombing, prompting the Turkish military operations.