Turkey arrests suspects in PKK-claimed murder of police officers
Turkish police guard the town of Ceylanpinar, where Kurdish PKK fighters shot and killed two police officers to avenge a suspected Daesh suicide bombing that killed 32 Kurdish youth.
Turkish police Thursday took three people into custody over a shooting attack the previous day which left two police officers dead, the Dogan news agency reported.
The armed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) claimed the attack on the officers, saying it was in retaliation for a suicide bombing this week which left 32 people dead at a pro-Kurdish youth group meeting in south-eastern Turkey.
The PKK alleged the officers, who were members of the anti-terrorism and riot police and also killed in the restive area near the Syrian border, had collaborated with the Islamic State (also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh), who they say carried out the attack.
Turkish officials, speaking to local media, say the suicide bomber was a 20-year-old Turkish citizen. The government has indicated the Islamic State most likely was involved in the attack on the youths, who were planning a humanitarian aid mission to Syria.
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said late Wednesday that Turkey will beef up its border security. The Justice and Development Party (AKP), which controls the outgoing government, will hold a security meeting later Thursday. So far, the government has not revealed specific security plans.
Turkey currently only has an interim government. The AKP, for the first time since 2002, failed in last month's elections to secure enough seats in parliament to govern alone.
While coalition talks are ongoing, slowly, there are growing indications the country may head to fresh elections later this year. Ankara is facing pressure both internationally and domestically, especially from the Kurdish minority, to step up its response to extremists.
Critics say the government has only taken limited measures and is lagging beyond on tackling homegrown religious extremism.
The PKK and the state have fought a civil war for more than 30 years, which has left more than 40,000 people dead, largely in the south-east of the country, which is predominately Kurdish.
The PKK declared a ceasefire in 2013, which has largely been maintained, though tensions have risen in recent months.
The jailed leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, who has spearheaded efforts to negotiate a peace deal, has been cut off from visitors since April, Kurdish officials complain.
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