Two Turkish soldiers were killed and dozens wounded early Sunday in a suicide attack blamed on Kurdish militants, as Ankara kept up its air campaign against the rebels’ bases in northern Iraq.
The attack in the Dogubayazit district of the eastern Agri province is the first time Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants have been accused of staging a suicide attack in the current crisis, amid an escalating cycle of violence that appears to have no end in sight.
Ankara has launched a two-pronged “anti-terror” offensive against Islamic State (IS) jihadists in Syria and PKK militants based in northern Iraq after a wave of attacks inside Turkey.
But so far the bombardments have focused far more on the Kurdish rebels — with Turkish official media claiming that 260 suspected PKK members have been killed — and the militants have retaliated inside Turkey.
There is also growing controversy over possible civilian casualties in the Turkish bombings, and the local Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq on Saturday urged the PKK to spare civilians.
The suspected PKK suicide bomber drove a tractor laden with two tons of explosives up to the military station in the Dogubayazit district, the official Anatolia news agency reported, quoting the local governor’s office.