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PKK claims attack on Turkish ruling party official

Soldiers carry the coffin of army officer Lt. Murat Taylan Oncel, 33, killed in a mortar attack Monday by Kurdish militants in Silvan, Diyarbakir, Turkey at the Kocatepe Mosque in Ankara, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016. Kurdish militants detonated a car bomb Sunday outside a military checkpoint in southeast Turkey, killing ten soldiers and eight civilians, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
October 11, 2016 - 8:22 AM

ANKARA, Turkey - 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, in Diyarbakir province, 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 co-operating 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.

On Tuesday, a funeral was held for a soldier who was killed a day earlier at a base in the town of Silvan, also in Diyarbakir, after Kurdish rebels attacked it with rocket launchers. Six other soldiers were wounded in the attack.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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