Ruling Party Official Shot Dead in Turkey’s Mainly Kurdish Southeast

Suspected Kurdish militants shot and killed an official in Turkey's ruling AK Party late on Monday, authorities said, the second shooting of a politician in as many days in the strife-hit southeast.

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, Oct 11 – Suspected Kurdish militants shot and killed an official in Turkey’s ruling AK Party late on Monday, authorities said, the second shooting of a politician in as many days in the strife-hit southeast.

Deryan Aktert, who headed the party’s branch in Diyarbakir’s Dicle district, was attacked in his office at 10:30 pm (1930 GMT) by suspected members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the provincial governor’s office said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, though the PKK – in a mounting conflict with government forces in the region bordering Iran, Iraq and Syria – often waits several days before making such announcements.

A day earlier, assailants killed Aydin Mustu, the ruling party’s deputy leader in the Ozalp district of Van, a city 350 km (215 miles) to the east of Diyarbakir.

A two-year ceasefire with the PKK collapsed in July last year, adding to the turmoil in a region already struggling with the civil war in Syria and the rise of Daesh there and in Iraq.

The PKK, which launched its separatist insurgency in 1984, is designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union – a label it rejects.

Suspected PKK militants set off a truck bomb, killing 15 people at a military checkpoint in Hakkari province on Sunday, officials said.

Police in Diyarbakir said they had also detained 55 officials from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and its sister Democratic Regions Party (DBP) on Tuesday in a counter-terrorism investigation.

Ebubekir Bal, an AK Party parliamentarian representing Diyarbakir, said armed men had attacked Aktert’s office last year.

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