Kurdish militants kill 4 policemen in Turkey's southeast

AP , Thursday 22 Sep 2011

Suspected Kurdish rebels kill one policeman and wound another one in an attack in the country's southeast, authorities say

Kurdish militants opened fired on policemen as they chatted with shop owners in Diyarbakir, the largest city in the Kurdish-dominated southeast, said city's governor, Mustafa Toprak. Two civilians were also wounded in the shooting.

The attack came a day after Kurdish rebels killed one soldier and two pro-government village guards in an ambush in the eastern Van province, according to the governor's office in Van. Wednesday's attack came hours after about 2,000 Turkish troops launched an operation against Kurdish rebels in the mountainous Tunceli province, further west, and Turkish jets reportedly bombed rebel bases in northern Iraq.

The rebels, who are fighting for autonomy in Turkey, have escalated attacks in recent months, killing dozens of members of the security forces and at least seven civilians since July.

In an expanding crackdown on Kurdish rebel sympathizers, police on Thursday detained 30 people in the Aegean port city of Izmir, the state-run Anatolia news agency said.

Police have rounded up more than 50 Kurdish suspects in the southeast earlier this week.

On Tuesday, a bomb blast in Ankara killed three civilians and wounded 34 others. Police on Thursday detained a suspect in the southern city of Adana, home to a sizable Kurdish population, according to the state-run TRT television. Police, however, would not say whether the suspect was affiliated with Kurdish rebels.

No one has claimed responsibility so far. Islamic and leftist militants are also active in Turkey.

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