Turkish police officer killed in bomb attack

  • 19/03/2016
Turkish police officer killed in bomb attack

By Seyhmus Cakan

A bomb attack by Kurdish militants has killed a police officer in southeast Turkey and another device was defused outside a local government building, as embassies issued security warnings about expected demonstrations this weekend.

Turkey has been on high alert since a suicide bombing, claimed by a Kurdish militant group, killed 37 people in the capital Ankara on Sunday.

Germany shut down its diplomatic missions and schools in Turkey, while the US and other European embassies warned citizens to be vigilant.

Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants were believed to have staged Friday's attack on the armoured police vehicle during security operations in the town of Nusaybin, near the Syrian border, security sources said.

In the town of Hani, also in the mainly Kurdish southeast, police found a vehicle loaded with 150kg of explosives that they believed was to be detonated during events to mark the anniversary of a World War I battlefield victory at Canakkale on Friday.

"Thanks to the alertness of security forces, there was no loss of life or damage. Efforts to ensure peace and security for our people will continue decisively and uninterrupted," the provincial governor's office said.

The Spanish and Italian embassies urged their citizens to avoid busy locations, celebrations and rallies on Sunday and Monday, when Kurds celebrate the Newroz New Year festival.

At the height of the PKK insurgency in the 1990s, the festival was often marked by violent clashes between Kurdish protesters and the security forces.

Turkey also faces a threat from Islamic State militants, blamed for several attacks, including a suicide bombing in Istanbul in January that killed 10 German tourists.