Kurdish militants attack Turkish police, kill themselves

W460

Two suspected Kurdish militants opened fire on police in southern Turkey and later killed themselves by detonating suicide bombs, Turkey's interior minister said. One police officer was killed in the attack while a second officer and a civilian were wounded.

The attack was carried out late on Monday in the Mezitli district in the Mediterranean coastal province of Mersin, by two women affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters.

They fired on police guarding a hotel for security officers, touching off clashes between them and police and a group of night guards who rushed to the scene, Soylu said.

"The women terrorists were wounded during these clashes. As the clashes continued, two separate explosions were heard," the minister said. "Because they were wounded, they understood they would not be able to escape and they (killed) themselves."

Soylu said a woman who was sitting on a balcony near the scene was hit by a stray bullet during the clashes. Neither she nor the second police officer was seriously hurt, he said.

There was no immediate comment from the militant group.

The PKK is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey, Europe and the United States. It has led an armed insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 and the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people since then.

A fragile cease-fire and peace talks between the state and the PKK collapsed in the summer of 2015.

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