July 15, 2024

DEVELOPING STORY,

Thousands of police officers take part in operations in 21 Turkish provinces after blast in the capital, Ankara.

Turkish police have detained at least 67 people with alleged links to Kurdish fighters two days after a suicide bomb attack in Turkey’s capital, Ankara.

Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said on Tuesday police carried out raids in 16 Turkish provinces, detaining 55 people suspected of being part of the “intelligence structure” of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

At least 12 other suspected PKK members were rounded up in a separate operation in five provinces, Yerlikaya wrote on X, the social media platform.

Some 13,400 security personnel took part in the operations, the minister said.

The PKK has led a decades-long armed rebellion in Turkey and is considered a “terrorist” organisation by the United States and the European Union.

Tens of thousands of people have died since the start of the conflict in 1984.

On Sunday, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device near an entrance to the Turkish Interior Ministry, hours before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was set to address parliament as it returned from its summer recess.

A second gunman was killed in a shootout with police. Two police officers were slightly wounded in the attack.

The suspects arrived at the scene inside a vehicle they seized from a veterinarian in the central Turkish of Kayseri after shooting him in the head, officials said.

The PKK claimed responsibility for the attack, according to a news website close to the group, while Turkish authorities identified one of the assailants as a PKK member.

Hours later, Turkey’s warplanes carried out air attacks on suspected PKK sites in northern Iraq, where the group’s leadership is based.

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