Six Turkish soldiers were killed and 120 were wounded when a roadside bomb believed to have been planted by Kurdish militants ripped through a military vehicle in southeast Turkey on Thursday, security sources said.
They said the blast occurred around 1 pm (1000 GMT) in the Hizan district of Bitlis province, hours after a car bomb attack blamed on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants killed three police officers and wounded 170 people in the city of Elazig.
Anadolu said that after the bombing police were sent to the scene, identifying a militant named MO suspected of bringing the car bomb in front of the police station. He had been wounded and was detained and taken to the main police headquarters in Van city for questioning, it said.
Turkey has been the target of numerous attacks by the PKK militant outfit. The group has been blamed by the Turkish government for waging war against the country. The PKK claims to fight for self determination of Kurds in Turkey and has carried out numerous attacks chiefly targeting Turkish military units. PKK has also been involved in clashes against the Turkish military since the collapse of a ceasefire in 2015.But Van, a city with a mixed Kurdish and Turkish population and a popular tourist destination, has generally been spared the worst of attacks like those seen in the nearby city of Diyarbakir.
Although the PKK has been designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, NATO and the US, it has been given the designation by the United Nations adn countries like India, China, and Russia. Other than being involved in an insurgency in Turkey, the PKK is also active in the Kurdish regions of Iraq and Syria. Due to their presence in both the countries, they have engaged the Islamic State on numerous occasions.
Tens of thousands of people have died in the conflict since the PKK took up arms for autonomy in southeast Turkey in 1984. Turkey and its allies consider the PKK a terrorist organization.