Monday, September 5, 2011

Turkey soccer match turns deadly as Kurdish rebels surprise attack players, spectators

A pick-up game of soccer for policemen in the eastern Turkish town of Tunceli turned deadly Sunday night when suspected Kurdish militants opened fire on players and spectators.

A police officer and his wife were both killed in the attack, a local police officer said Monday, on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to give interviews to the media.

The officer said nine other police officers were wounded, while one of the attackers was killed in the ensuing gunbattle.

On Saturday, a separate deadly clash in a rural area of Turkey's mountainous Tunceli province resulted in the deaths of a Turkish army lieutenant and a sergeant, said an official from the provincial governor's office, who by convention is not named.

The bloody, 26-year war between guerilla fighters from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Turkish state has escalated over the last month.

The Kurdish separatist movement has claimed responsibility for a series of deadly attacks throughout the summer that have claimed the lives of more than a dozen Turkish soldiers.

On August 17, the Turkish military retaliated, launching a wave of airstrikes and artillery barrages across the border against suspected PKK camps in the mountains of northern Iraq.

The Turkish armed forces claimed to have killed more than 100 rebels in the ongoing cross border attacks. more