Iran shuts border post into Turkey after truck attacked

Iran closes its main border crossing post into Turkey after an Iranian truck was attacked

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Iran has closed its main border crossing post into Turkey after an Iranian truck was torched in a fresh attack on vehicles entering from the Islamic republic, state television said Wednesday.

The report did not say who carried out the attack or what the motive was, but there has been growing unrest in Turkey in recent weeks involving Kurdish separatists.

“Following a new attack yesterday evening on an Iranian truck in Turkey, the Bazargan border post into the country has been closed,” said Davoud Keshavarzian, head of the road traffic organisation.

However, he said the border remains open from Turkey into Iran.

“Luckily, the driver is alive but his truck was burnt,” Keshavarzian said.

He added that he had spoken with the Turkish ambassador and asked that “the Turkish government ensure the safety of Iranian drivers in Turkey as Iran does for Turkish drivers”.

More than 71,000 trucks have passed through Bazargan, located in northwestern Iran, since the beginning of the Iranian fiscal year on March 20.

On Saturday, Iran warned citizens to avoid land travel to neighbouring Turkey after an Iranian bus was attacked by gunmen in the east of the country.

At the end of July, Iran suspended train services between Ankara and Tehran after two bomb blasts on the railway in eastern Turkey.

And a bomb exploded last month on the Iran-Turkey gas pipeline in Agri province in eastern Turkey.

Attacks have been on the rise since a bombing killed 32 people in a mainly Kurdish town in southern Turkey on July 20, ending a two-year truce between Turkey and the rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), who are active in eastern Turkey.

Turkey claimed the bombing was carried out by the jihadist Islamic State (ISIS) group, and launched airstrikes on a few ISIS positions in north Syria, as well as PKK targets in northern Iraq.

The events have sparked a cycle of reprisals between the Turkish state and the Kurdish rebellion.

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