A Kurdish suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden truck into a checkpoint near a police station Friday in southeast Turkey, killing at least 11 police officers and wounding 78 other people, the Prime Minister said.
The attack struck the checkpoint 50 metres from a main police station near the town of Cizre, in the mainly Kurdish Sirnak province. Television footage showed black smoke rising from the mangled truck and the three-story police station gutted from the powerful explosion.
Rebels linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, claimed the attack the latest in a string of bombings by the group targeting police or military vehicles and facilities. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim vowed to “destroy the terrorists.”
“No terrorist organisation can take the Turkish Republic hostage,” he told reporters in Istanbul.
“This attack, which comes at a time when Turkey is engaged in an intense struggle against terrorist organizations both within and outside its borders, only serves to increase our determination as a country and a nation,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
Turkey has sent tanks into following weeks of deadly attacks by the PKK and the Islamic State.
The operation aims to help Syrian rebels retake Jarablus, a key IS-held border town, and to contain the expansion of Syrian Kurdish militia who are linked to the PKK