Minibus driver killed in PKK raid in Erzurum province

PKK terrorists kill a minibus driver in eastern Erzurum province

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Security officers on patrol at the site of incident in Erzurum

A civilian minibus was attacked by PKK terrorists in a terror attack on Monday in Turkey’s eastern Erzurum province after which the driver was announced dead.

A group of militants blocked a highway in the Senkaya district in Turkey’s eastern Erzurum province during the early morning hours, stopping an intercity bus headed for Turkey's Ardahan province.

The driver of a minibus carrying civilians that was approaching the area, reversed its direction after seeing the militants. However, it was too late for the minibus to get out the range of the militants automatic weapons.

The driver Garip Bektas who was shot in the back yet continued to drive further away save his passengers. Bektas, a father of two children, was announced dead after being rushed to  the Gole state hospital by his pasengers.

In the meantime, PKK terrorists disembarked the passengers and proceded to pour gasoline on the bus which they had blocked off earlier and burnt it.

A high number of security forces were deployed to the area following the attack in search of the militants while the highway that was blocked was closed to traffic.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union. Over the course of 40 days, 44 security officers were killed in intensified terror attacks carried out mainly by the outlawed PKK.

The outlawed PKK unilaterally ended a three-year old ceasefire with Turkey on July 11, disrupting the “Peace Process” that had launched to resolve the conflict between PKK and the government, which has claimed over 40,000 lives in the past three decades.

Also on Monday, a prayer ceremony was held at Ankara’s Kocatepe Mosque for the  funeral of the fallen non-commissioned gendarmerie official Nurettin Ozturk who was killed in a battle with PKK in the eastern Kars province.

Politicians and state officials including Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu attended the funeral. Davutoglu stood alongside the two children of the deceased soldier.

PKK attacks remain a threat across Turkey.

Throughout the day, PKK attacks took place across the eastern part of the country.

Militants shut down the main highway between the Semdinli and Yuksekova towns in the mostly Kurdish, Hakkari province, where they digged trenches and placed hand-made explosives while conducting identity checks on civilians they stopped on the highway.

Security officials launched an operation with aerial support in the area following the incident.

A recruitment office of the military along with a military housing complex in the Muradiye district located in Van province came across an armed attack around noon with long-range weapons and hand-made bombs.

Security officials at the complex fired back at the PKK terrorists and began a search for them.

A police station and a traffic control station in the Silvan district in Turkey’s eastern Diyarbakir province were raided by PKK terrorists with long-range weapons. Topcular gendermerie station in the Hani district of Diyarbakir province was also attacked by the militants.

In Bingol province, transmitter stations belonging to a mobile operator and the state television channel TRT were also targets of PKK terrorists as they became unusable following the bomb attack.

Meanwhile in Istanbul, counter-terrorism units launched concurrent raids in 13 districts and 23 locations that resulted in seven suspects being detained over charges of  plotting terrorism related actions. Other eight suspects were released by the court.

Searches in their homes resulted in illegal weapons and hard and soft copy documents promoting the militant organisation.

Four PKK supporters in Tarsus district of Mersin province were also arrested on Monday after a raid conducted at a suspected location where 126 molotov cocktails were found.

TRTWorld and agencies