One soldier killed as PKK attacks military bus in İzmir

Security officials investigating the blast that killed one soldier and wounded many others in İzmir's Foça district on Thursday. (Photo: AA)

August 09, 2012, Thursday/ 10:20:00

One soldier was killed and 11 people were injured in an explosion when members of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) attacked a Turkish military bus on its way to a naval base in the western province of İzmir on Thursday.

A group of PKK operatives detonated a road-side bomb they had planted along a road in the province's Foça district as a military vehicle passed over it at around 8 a.m. They then opened fire on the vehicle, killing one soldier and wounding 11 people.

The Anatolia news agency reported that six soldiers were among the wounded. The rest of the wounded were civilians employed by the military.

Commenting on the attack, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the incident is “unfortunately yet another example of the steps of [PKK] terrorism in its move to expand.”

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) parliamentary group deputy chairman Oktay Vural, who went to scene of the incident to examine it firsthand, said to reporters: “We have to fight against terrorism cooperatively. We should take a national stance against terrorism. In this case, Turkey's fight against terrorism is legitimate.” Vural also offered his condolences to the family of the killed soldier and wished the wounded soldiers and citizens a quick recovery.

Following the incident, MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli accused the government of creating policies that pave the way for terrorism and ethnic separatism. He also offered his condolences to the family of the killed soldier.

The PKK has recently stepped up its campaign of violence, killing eight soldiers last week in attack on a military outpost in the southeastern province of Hakkari. Thursday's attack marks one of the terrorist organization's rare strikes in the western part of the country in the past few months.

In a similar incident, one soldier was killed and two others were injured after a land mine, believed to have been planted by the outlawed PKK, was detonated on Wednesday in the Şemdinli district of the southeastern province of Hakkari where the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is conducting intensive operations against the terrorist organization. The wounded soldiers were taken to nearby military hospitals. The mine explosion occurred during an operation being conducted on Kato Mountain. The name of the killed solider was Specialist Sgt. Yıldırım Kuzucular; he was 27 years old.

Meanwhile, 15 kilograms of TNT in improvised explosives were found on Thursday in Yüksekova district of Hakkari by security forces, who prevented a possible disaster by detecting the explosives before they could be used. The explosives were found on Sudepose Street in the Kani Haydar neighborhood in the district and were destroyed by bomb disposal experts.

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