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Police commander killed in eastern Turkey

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the killing in Mus province but suspicions fell on the PKK

Published: Updated:

Gunmen in a predominantly Kurdish part of eastern Turkey shot dead a paramilitary police commander late on Monday, a hospital source said.

“The commander was subjected to an armed attack around 2100 local time (1800 GMT,” the source told AFP. The officer later died in hospital of his injuries. His daughter and wife were also wounded in the attack.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the killing in Mus province but suspicions fell on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has claimed several attacks on Turkish security forces over the past few days.

Ankara has expanded its cross-border offensive on Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in Syria to include PKK positions in northern Iraq, after deadly attacks inside Turkey blamed on the Kurdish separatists.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Monday said Turkish operations against the PKK would continue until the group disarmed.

“It is either weapons or democracy. The two cannot stand together,” he said in a televised interview.

The Turkish army Sunday blamed PKK militants for a deadly car bomb attack that killed two of its soldiers in the Kurdish-dominated southeast, further rattling a fragile ceasefire declared by the group’s jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan in 2013.

The PKK’s military wing, the People’s Defense Forces (HPG), claimed the car bombing in the Lice district of Diyarbakir province but gave a much higher toll of eight soldiers killed.

Two Turkish policemen were shot dead last Wednesday while sleeping in their homes in the southeast, in attacks also claimed by the PKK.