PKK claims killing of Turkish police in revenge for Suruc massacre

Friday 17/07/2015
Tensions flare again

ISTANBUL - The military wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) said on Wednesday it killed two Turkish police officers in a town on the Syrian border as a reprisal for a suicide bombing blamed on jihadists that killed 32.

"A punitive action was carried out... in revenge for the massacre in Suruc," the People's Defence Forces (HPG) said in a statement on its website, accusing the two officers of cooperating with the jihadists.

The two police officers were found shot dead at their home in the town of Ceylanpinar on the border with Syria, two days after the Suruc suicide attack blamed on Islamic State jihadists.

The statement by the HPG said that the attack took place at 6:00 am (0300 GMT) and that the police officers' identity cards and service weapons had been seized.

It described the attackers as an "Apoist team of self-sacrifice", in reference to the PKK's jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan whose nickname is "Apo."

The attack on the police risks further ratcheting up tensions in Turkey after the Suruc suicide bombing, bringing the battle between Kurds and IS that is raging inside Syria onto Turkish territory.

The authorities had earlier appeared at a loss to explain the attack on the police in Ceylanpinar, which had been first announced earlier Wednesday.

Turkish television quoted the governor of Sanliurfa region, Izzettin Kucuk, as saying earlier it was not immediately clear if the attack had "terrorist connections".

The PKK has waged a decades-long insurgency for self-rule that claimed tens of thousands of lives.

It declared a truce in 2013 after the government opened secret peace negotiations with Ocalan.

However Kurds have become increasingly frustrated with the government's policy on Syria, as Ankara refuses to support the Kurdish groups fighting IS jihadists inside Syria.

Kurds, widely seen as the world's largest group of stateless people, are Turkey's largest minority and the main group in the southeast of the country.

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