The blast occurred along the Diyarbakır-Bingöl highway as a group of soldiers were patrolling the area. A gendarmerie noncommissioned officer and a gendarmerie specialized sergeant were killed in the blast.
Diyarbakır Governor Mustafa Toprak said the soldiers were part of a military team assigned to patrol the rural areas of the district to watch for terrorist activity. “The team was serving to ensure the peace and comfort of our people. They were attacked by terrorists while on duty. Two soldiers were killed in the incident,” he said. An effort is under way to capture the fleeing terrorists.
The terrorist attack comes amid a large-scale military operation in southeastern Hakkari province. The Turkish military launched the operation in the area last week when PKK terrorists blocked the road to a village in the region and interrogated villagers. Troops from neighboring battalions were dispatched to the region. The security forces have continued to open fire from both land and air at PKK targets in the rural areas surrounding the village of Yiğitler in Şemdinli and in the Goman Mountains. In addition, Turkish fighter jets shelled targets of the terrorist organization in the Hakurk and Avaşin-Basyan areas of northern Iraq. Cobra and Sikorsky helicopters were also used in the operation. A total of 39 terrorists have been killed in the operations so far.
‘Security forces foiled PKK plan to create Syria-like atmosphere’
International Terrorism and Transnational Crime Research Center (UTSAM) Director Süleyman Özeren suggested that the terrorist PKK was hoping to create a Syria-like atmosphere in southeast Turkey -- to create the illusion that the Turkish military was carrying out a bloody campaign against civilians in the region -- but the Turkish military and the police force managed to foil the plan. “The best part of this foiling is that no civilians were hurt. The [terrorist] organization wants to involve civilians in its bloody plans. It tells civilians that they will be killed and their cities will be set on fire if they do not cooperate, but civilians remain unhurt thanks to the successful methods of our security forces,” he said. The PKK took up arms in 1984, and around 40,000 people have been killed in clashes between the terrorist group and Turkish security forces to date. The PKK is designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. According to the UTSAM head, the PKK is working to “carry the Arab Spring to southeastern Turkey” for a while. “They [PKK terrorists] were seeking to ignite an Arab Spring in southeastern Turkey. They wanted to create the image that the Turkish administration is killing Kurdish civilians as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is doing to his own nation. But Turkish security forces have shown the real face of the terrorist organization,” he said. Özeren also said a successful and professional fight against terrorism will contribute to Turkey’s democratization.