At least three Turkish policemen have lost their lives and another has sustained injuries in a bomb explosion in Turkey’s beleaguered southeastern province of Sirnak.
Turkish security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) had planted a bomb in the Sehit Harun Boy neighborhood of Silopi district, which lies close to the borders of Iraq and Syria, and set it off as the policemen’s patrol car passed by on Tuesday evening.
The sources added that four policemen were injured in the blast and were transported to a nearby hospital, where three officers later succumbed to their injuries.
Police launched an operation in the aftermath of the attack, and an exchange of gunfire could be heard in the area for several hours.
Also on Tuesday, three PKK militants were detained for planning a bomb attack in Turkey’s western province of Izmir.
Izmir provincial counter-terrorism police detained the trio as they were heading to a forested area in the same province to collect explosive materials, including 17.5 kilograms of C-4 plastic explosives and 10 hand grenades, which they had hidden there.
According to a tally conducted by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, more than 150 Turkish soldiers and police officers have been killed since July 7 in armed attacks blamed on the PKK.
On November 4, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu ordered the continuation of military operations against PKK “without interruption” despite winter conditions.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said on the same day that, “The operations against PKK in Turkey and abroad are being taken in a determined way. There will be no break, and we will go on.”