Middle East

Kurdish rebels claim attack that killed Turkish ruling party official

Turkey's Kurdish rebels on Tuesday claimed responsibility for an attack that killed a local ruling party official, a website close to the militants said.

Deryan Aktert, the ruling Justice and Development Party's top official in the mainly Kurdish town of Dicle, died late Monday after assailants opened fire at a gas station he owned.

It was the second deadly attack on a ruling party official this week and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Tuesday that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, had embarked on a campaign to attack his party's officials.

Firat News, an agency close to the PKK, said the group claimed the attack against Aktert, accusing him of cooperating with the party headed by Yildirim. It said the official was "punished" for his "engagement in (the ruling party's) state massacre," and "acting as an agent against the Kurdish people."

Fighting between the PKK and the state security forces resumed last year after the collapse of a fragile 2 1/2-year cease-fire. Since then, more than 600 Turkish security personnel and thousands of PKK militants have been killed, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency.

The PKK is considered a terror organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.