Kurdish militants of killing two civilians

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ISTANBUL: Turkey on Thursday blamed outlawed Kurdish militants of killing two civilians — members of a solidarity group aiding people affected by the novel coronavirus.

In a statement, the defence ministry said the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) launched a “treacherous attack” on a vehicle carrying the members of a social support group, killing two of them.

“This despicable attack will not go unanswered,” the ministry said, without providing details on the whereabouts of the incident. The PKK has fought an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 and is listed as a terror group by Turkey and its Western allies.

Although violence has surged since a ceasefire broke down in July 2015, the PKK usually targets security forces. The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party — accused by the government of ties to the PKK — condemned the latest attack which it said took place in the eastern province of Van which borders Iran.

“We condemn the attack that occurred in the Ozalp district of Van in the strongest terms,” the party said in a statement. “This attack, which comes at a time of the coronavirus pandemic when we need solidarity, can never be accepted.”

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