ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A Turkish district governor wounded in a bomb attack on his office in the largely Kurdish southeast has died in hospital, the state-run Anadolu Agency and other media said on Friday.
Suspected Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants carried out Thursday’s attack in the Derik district of Mardin province with an improvised explosive device, wounding three people, according to the Mardin governor’s office.
Derik district governor Muhammed Fatih Safiturk was one of three people hurt in the attack, suffering second-degree burns. He died at a hospital in the city of Gaziantep on Friday morning, having been flown there by helicopter for treatment, the Dogan news agency said.
Safiturk had been given the additional responsibility in July of running the local municipality as part of a series of moves to replace elected officials from the Democratic Regions’ Party (DBP), a sister party of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Ankara accuses the HDP, parliament’s third biggest party, of links to the PKK, which is fighting for autonomy in the largely Kurdish southeast. The HDP denies any direct links and says it is working for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
There was no claim of responsibility for Thursday’s attack but the PKK often carries out bomb and rocket attacks in the southeast, where violence has raged since a two-year-old PKK ceasefire collapsed in July last year.
More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the PKK took up arms in 1984. It is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
(Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Tattersall)