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13 policemen martyred in PKK attack in eastern Turkey

Interior Minister Selami Altinok calls on citizens to 'go through the pain'

08.09.2015 - Update : 08.09.2015
13 policemen martyred in PKK attack in eastern Turkey

IGDIR, Turkey

IGDIR, Turkey (AA) - Thirteen police officers were martyred and another wounded in a roadside bomb attack Tuesday staged by the PKK terrorist organization in Turkey’s eastern province of Igdir, according to local officials.

Earlier figures provided by a security source said 14 officers died and two were wounded in the attack.

“As a result of those attacks our 13 police officers were martyred and a special operations policeman received non-fatal injuries,” the Igdir governor’s office said in a statement.

“During the operation that was launched following the incident, two persons of interest were captured.”

Police were escorting customs officials to their post on Turkey’s border with the Azerbaijani enclave of Nakhchivan when the convoy was hit by a roadside bomb as it passed through the village of Hasanhan, according to the security source.

The attack follows Sunday’s roadside blast in Hakkari province that killed 16 soldiers - the deadliest attack since the PKK terrorist organization renewed its armed offensive at the end of July.

Interior Minister Selami Altinok promised such “vicious attacks can never discourage us.”

Speaking at a news conference in Igdir, he said: “We will continue this struggle... until the members of the terrorist organization disarm and leave our country."

“My request to our citizens is to keep your dignified stance, go through the pain, feeling the pain of martyrs as you had been doing all along… it is necessary to make an effort so as not to serve the wishes of those forces that would consume our sense of brotherhood.”

He added: “We will deal with the calamity of terrorism one way or another. Our state has the means to destroy it and does everything necessary.”

The PKK - designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU - renewed its armed campaign against the Turkish state in the aftermath of the July 20 suicide bombing in Suruc district that killed 33 people.

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