ANKARA, Turkey, Aug. 18 (UPI) — Three separate but coordinated terrorist attacks struck Turkey Thursday, killing more than a dozen people and wounding more than 200 others, officials said.
The attacks — two police station bombings and one roadside explosion — occurred across the country and appeared to target Turkish security forces.
The first bombing, at a police station in Van province, killed three people and injured nearly 75 — many of the victims police officers.
The second also targeted a police station, in Elazig, killed five and wounded nearly 150. The roadside bombing killed five Turkish soldiers and a village guard and injured five others in Bitlis province — as Kurdish rebels detonated the explosive device as a troop convoy went by.
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Government officials said all three attacks were carried out by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, also known in Turkey as the PKK, a group that has previously targeted security forces. Last week, their commander threatened continued attacks against Turkish police.
A PKK operative was reportedly killed by responding police in Bitlis, news reports said.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirum said the attacks Thursday are an indication the PKK, founded in 1978 as a socialist revolutionary organization, is weakening and resorting to suicide bombings.
“No terror organization will force this nation to cow in submission,” he said.
“The terrorist organization won’t find the right to live anywhere. We have raised the alarm level.”
“Our fight against terror will never cease,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who subsequently barred news coverage of the attacks in Turkey.