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Car Bomb Kills 18 at a Military Checkpoint in Turkey
Kurdish militants detonated a car bomb outside a military checkpoint in southeastern Turkey on Sunday, killing 10 soldiers and eight civilians, the prime minister said. Turkey immediately launched a military operation against the rebels in response.
At a news conference in Istanbul, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim condemned the attack.
"For the stability of our country, we will continue doing everything we can to save our homeland and our nation from the forces of terrorism," Mr. Yildirim said.
Cuneyit Orhan Toprak, the governor of Hakkari Province, where the attack took place, told the private news channel NTV that 27 others had been wounded in the attack.
Eleven were soldiers, the Turkish military said.
Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency, citing a statement by the Turkish armed forces, said the attack occurred at 9:45 a.m. outside a checkpoint on the Semdinli-Yuksekova highway and was the work of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or P.K.K. The checkpoint is 12 miles from the town of Semdinli, near the borders with Iraq and Iran.
The attackers fired on the soldiers at the checkpoint to distract them before detonating explosives inside a minivan, Mr. Toprak said.
The explosion produced a crater 50 feet wide and 23 feet deep. An infantry station behind the checkpoint was also heavily damaged.
The Turkish authorities imposed a temporary blackout on coverage of the attack, citing public order and national security reasons.
Energy Minister Berat Albayrak condemned the attack during a speech in Istanbul. "I would like to remind all friendly countries that there is great need to take a common stance and display solidarity against terrorism," he said.
Turkey has been rocked by a wave of bombings since last summer that have killed hundreds of people. Officials have blamed either the P.K.K. or the Islamic State for the attacks.
Fighting between the P.K.K. and the state security forces resumed last year after the collapse of a fragile cease-fire. Since then, more than 600 Turkish security personnel and thousands of P.K.K. militants have been killed in clashes, according to Anadolu.
Human rights groups say hundreds of civilians have been killed in the fighting.
[Source: International News York Times, Istanbul, 09Oct16]
Islamic paramilitary organizations
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