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Turkish officers killed in bomb attack on police station

Watch now: The PKK has targeted police headquarters on several occasions [AFP]

Date of publication: 26 August, 2016

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Video: Suspected Kurdish militants detonated a bomb outside a police station in troubled southeast Turkey killing at least eight officers.

At least eight Turkish police officers have been killed and more than 45 injured after a suspected Kurdish militants detonated a car bomb outside a police building in the southeast of the country.

The officers were at the headquarters of the special anti-riot force in Cizre before the attack caused immense damage to the police building.

Footage broadcast on television showed a thick plume of black smoke rising from the building.

Twelve ambulances and two helicopters had been sent to the scene, the health ministry said.

Earlier pictures showed the police building had been completely gutted by the power of the blast, reduced to a shell surrounded by a pile of rubble.

Adjacent buildings sustained severe damage and some were still on fire, prompting security forces to close the main road to Cizre from the provincial capital of Sirnak to the north.

The bomb had gone off 50 metres away from the building at a control post, local news Anadolu agency said, noting the blast had been carried out by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Security forces closed the main road to Cizre from the provincial capital of Sirnak to the north after the attack, Anadolu added.

The Turkish security forces have been hit by near daily attacks by the PKK since a two-and-a-half year ceasefire collapsed in 2015, leaving hundreds of police officers and soldiers dead.

The PKK has kept up its assaults in the last weeks after the unsuccessful July 15 coup by rogue elements in the military aimed at unseating President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The latest attack comes two days after Turkish forces launched an unprecedented offensive in neighbouring Syria which the authorities say is aimed both at the Islamic State group and Syrian Kurdish militia.

On Thursday, Turkey shelled Kurdish militia fighters in Syria, saying they were failing to observe a deal with the US to stop advancing in jihadi-held territory.

Ankara sees the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its People's Protection Units (YPG) militia as terror groups bent on carving out an autonomous region in Syria and acting as the Syrian branch of the PKK.

The government has vowed to press on with the campaign to eradicate the PKK from eastern Turkey after a purge in the army for those responsible for carrying out the coup.

The military has repeatedly over the last year ordered military operations and curfews in southeastern urban centres, including Cizre which has long been seen as having large PKK support.

Over 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK first took up arms in 1984 with the aim of carving out an independent state for Turkey's Kurdish minority.

It is proscribed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.

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