Terrorists from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attacked military outposts in the southeastern province of Hakkari overnight, killing three Turkish soldiers.
[vsw id=”MSGqeRbtQdM” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]
Armed with mortars and rifles, the PKK terrorists launched raids on the Işıklı gendarmerie outpost and the Gazitepe airbase in Çukurca, a mountainous area bordering Iraq and Iran, security sources said. Turkish troops responded to the attacks and killed three terrorists.
The Turkish military was searching for the terrorists in the Turkey-Iraq border region, security sources said.
A large-scale operation was launched against the terrorist group, assisted by helicopters.
In addition to attacking outposts on Wednesday, the PKK raided a primary school, kidnapping six of the 19 teachers on duty. The school was located in Bulakbaşı, a village in Iğdır’s Karakyounlu district, about 21 kilometers from the city center. Two terrorists attacked the school with long-range rifles according to witnesses, storming into the teacher’s lounge. The terrorists left with Umut Görkem Sevinç, Ersin Karakaya, Soner Er, Mehmet Koçubaba, Lütfü Atılmış and Abdulllah Enes Er as their hostages.
According to reports from Iğdır, villagers who heard the news rushed to the school, begging the terrorists not to take away the teachers. Bulakbaşı village head Mehmet Gültekin told reporters: “The terrorists pointed their weapons at the people, told them to move away. The children started crying at seeing their teachers being taken away. But they didn’t care at all and they took the six teachers toward the Korhan Plain. We notified the security forces and watched as they took away the teachers in tears.”
There was no explanation or statement from the PKK regarding the situation of the teachers. However, the PKK, which kidnapped one teacher over the weekend, released him on Monday. The PKK has increased abductions in the region, with most of the abductees being released after varying periods of time.
Fighting between the army and the PKK intensified over the summer, a development that Ankara sees as linked to the chaos in neighboring Syria. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad of arming the PKK terrorists.
Meanwhile, the Diyarbakır Police Department on Wednesday announced that it had captured four suspected PKK terrorists believed to be in preparation for a terrorist attack. The four suspects were being interrogated at the Diyarbakır Police Station on Wednesday afternoon.
The PKK — designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union — has carried out a steady stream of attacks on military targets in recent months, stepping up a 28-year campaign of violence.
More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the PKK took up arms in 1984 with the aim of carving out a Kurdish state.