Security force members killed in PKK attacks laid to rest

Two soldiers were killed in an attack that targeted their civilian car in Cizre, a tense district of the southeastern province of Sırnak, while a police officer was killed in another attack by PKK terrorists in Sur, a district of Diyarbakır province, on Saturday.

The attack in Cizre took place in front of a car shop, where a group of soldiers in plainclothes was fixing their car. A group of terrorists drove by and opened fire on the soldiers with automatic rifles. The gunmen then fled the scene.

Four soldiers were injured in the attack and rushed to Cizre State Hospital. Two of the injured, Sgt. Mehmet Burak Demirci and Spc. Sgt. Halil Karakusoglu, died at the hospital. The remaining two injured soldiers are still receiving treatment.

An official ceremony was held for the slain soldiers at the Sırnak 23rd Gendarmerie Border Division Command on Saturday. The body of Demirci was sent to Osmaniye’s Duzici district for burial, while the body of Karakusoglu was sent to Nizip in Gaziantep province.

Demirci was buried at the Duzici Camlık Cemetery on Sunday after a funeral prayer was held for him at the İrfanlı Merkez Mosque in Duzici.

Karakusoglu’s funeral prayer took place at the Hatice Kubra Mosque in Nizip the same day. His body was buried at the Nizip Martyrs’ Cemetery. Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek was in attendance.

Security forces launched an operation in Cizre in pursuit of the attackers, shutting off entry and exit to the town. Witnesses said gunfire could be heard as residents fled indoors.

In Diyarbakır, the largest city in the Southeast, a police officer was shot to death and another wounded during ongoing clashes between security forces and PKK terrorists in Sur, where a curfew has been in place since the killing of Kurdish lawyer and human rights activist Tahir Elci.

Elci was killed in a shootout on Nov. 28. Two curfews were successively imposed in the district’s six neighborhoods following Elci’s death.

The police officer who was killed in clashes on Saturday was working for the Special Ops Unit of the Diyarbakır Police Department. The body of 24-year-old Mustafa Katırlı was sent to his hometown, Kahramanmaras, following an official funeral ceremony held for him in front of the building of the Diyarbakır Police Department on Saturday.

Katırlı was buried after a funeral prayer was held for him at the Pazarcık Ulu Mosque in Kahramanmaras on Sunday. Kahramanmaras Governor Mustafa Hakan Guvencer, and Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputies Celalettin Guvenc, İlker Citil, Ugur Dilipak and İmran Kılıc were all in attendance.

A half dozen neighborhoods in the city are under a round-the-clock curfew, as operations against the PKK continue.

Curfews were also introduced in several neighborhoods in the nearby districts of Hazro and Lice in Diyarbakır on Saturday, the Diyarbakır Governor’s Office said.