YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Residents of an Armenian border village sounded alarm on Tuesday after being shaken by what turned out to be a bomb attack in nearby Turkey that reportedly killed at least 14 Turkish police officers.
The Armenian Ministry of Local Government and Emergency Situations said it was swiftly alerted about the sound of a powerful explosion heard in Ranchpar, a village in the southern Ararat region bordering the Igdir province in northeastern Turkey. “It was ascertained that the explosion took place in the territory of Turkey, 5 kilometers away from [another] village in Ararat, Noramarg,” the ministry said in a statement.
According to news reports, the Igdir blast destroyed a minibus that carried policemen to a Turkish border crossing leading to Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan exclave sandwiched between Turkey, Armenia and Iran. Turkish officials are certain to accuse Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants of being behind the bombing.
Around 100 members of Turkish security forces have been reportedly killed since a two-year ceasefire between Ankara and the PKK collapsed in July. The Turkish military claims to have killed a much larger number of Kurdish militants in eastern Turkey and northern Iraq.
More than 40 Turkish warplanes hit PKK targets in northern Iraq on the night from Monday to Tuesday in response to the killing on Sunday of 16 Turkish soldiers near the Iraqi border.