Turkey: 1 policeman killed in suicide attack

Published May 25, 2012

| Associated Press

A car bomb driven by a pair of suspected suicide attackers exploded outside a police station in central Turkey, killing one policeman and wounding 17 people, the interior minister said. The two people in the car also were killed.

The car sped through a paramilitary checkpoint, and the bomb later detonated outside the police station in the town of Pinarbasi, in the province of Kayseri, said Idris Naim Sahin, the interior minister.

Sahin earlier said two police officers were killed in the attack but later said doctors were able to save one of them. He said seven of the 17 wounded were in serious condition.

The vehicle was first spotted at the paramilitary checkpoint in the neighboring province of Kahramanmaras, some 90 kilometers (56 miles) away, when it ignored calls to stop and hit a sergeant as it escaped, the state-run Anadolu Agency said.

Sahin hinted that Kurdish rebels, who are fighting for autonomy in southeast Turkey, might have been behind the attack.

"The crazy attacks of the terrorist organization are continuing," he said, in an apparent reference to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

Private NTV television and the Dogan news agency said a policeman standing guard outside the police station opened fire at the assailants. The bomb went off soon afterward.

Separately, suspected Kurdish rebels kidnapped 10 villagers in a raid on the village of Bayirli near the southeastern town of Tunceli on Tuesday night, the governor's office in the province of Diyarbakir said Friday. The motive of the kidnapping was unclear.

The PKK has carried out several bombings, including suicide attacks, throughout Turkey in the past. The conflict involving the Kurdish rebels has killed tens of thousands of people since 1984.

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