11 dead, 78 wounded as blast rocks Turkey's Sirnak
Iran Press TV
Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:42AM
At least 11 people have been killed after a car bomb attack targeted a security checkpoint in the southeastern province of Sirnak, sources say.
The Thursday bomb attack, which caused severe damage to the headquarters of the special anti-riot police force in the town of Cizre, also left some 78 people wounded, according to hospital sources.
Initial reports said many people had been killed and wounded in the bombing. Medical sources say the exact death toll from the blast is still unknown.
Footage was broadcast on national television, showing an immense plume of black smoke heading into the sky from the site of the blast.
Claim of responsibility
The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) claimed responsibility for the attack, according to a statement on a website affiliated to the militant group.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan condemned the attack, saying such assaults would only strengthen his country's determination in the fight against militants "at home and aboad."
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also confirmed the death toll from the bombing, which he said was carried out with an explosives-laden truck.
"No terrorist organization can take the Turkish Republic hostage," he told reporters in Istanbul, adding, "We will give these scoundrels every response they deserve."
Sirnak borders both Syria and Iraq and has a largely Kurdish population.
The province has also witnessed some of the heaviest clashes between the Turkish army and the PKK militants since the collapse of a peace process between the two sides last year.
Since the resumption of hostilities between the two sides, more than 600 Turkish security personnel and thousands of PKK militants have been killed, according to Anadolu. Rights bodies also say hundreds of civilians have lost their lives in the violence-hit areas.
The country has also seen a number of fatal terror attacks blamed on Daesh.
Last week, at least 54 people died in a bomb attack at a Kurdish wedding in the southeastern province of Gaziantep. An attack on Istanbul's Ataturk airport also left 44 people dead in June.
The latest blast in Cizre comes in the wake of Turkey's largest military incursion into Syria, which Ankara says is aimed at fighting Daesh and Kurdish militants.
On Wednesday, Turkey deployed tanks and special forces to northern Syria in the so-called Operation Euphrates Shield.
In a Twitter post hours after the bombing, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Daesh terrorists, Kurdish militants and Syrian-Kurdish forces are taking advantage of last month's abortive coup to launch attacks in the country.
It further said Ankara was determined to protect its borders as well as national security.
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