The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has claimed a suicide truck bombing on a police building in Turkey’s southeast that killed 11 officers and wounded dozens more.
The blast came two days after the Turkish army launched an offensive in Syria that the government says is not only aimed against Islamic State (IS) group but also a Syrian Kurdish militia detested by Ankara.
The blast tore the facade off the headquarters of the Turkish riot police in the town of Cizre, a bastion of PKK support just north of the Syrian border.
The local governor’s office said 11 officers were killed and 78 people injured.
Four people were said to be in critical condition.
The state-run Anadolu news agency said the explosion took place 50m from the building, at a control post.
The PKK said it carried out the assault in retaliation for the “continued isolation” of the group’s jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan and the “lack of information” about his welfare.
Cizre, a majority Kurdish town, has been badly hit by renewed violence between the PKK and government forces since the collapse of a ceasefire last year.
Turkish security forces have been hit by near daily PKK attacks since a two-and-a-half year truce collapsed in July 2015, leaving hundreds of police officers and soldiers dead.
Turkey’s operation in Syria aims to push both IS and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia that is fighting the Islamist militants out of the border region.
Ankara considers the YPG, which has links to the PKK, as a terror group bent on carving out an autonomous Kurdish region on Turkey’s border.
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