ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Islamic State militants fired at a Turkish military outpost from Syrian territory on Thursday, killing one Turkish soldier and wounding two others, Turkish officials said. Turkish troops retaliated, killing at least one IS militant.
Suleyman Tapsiz, the governor for Kilis province, said the border outpost was attacked from a region in Syria under IS control. He said the two injured sergeants were not in serious condition.
The soldiers were attacked by five militants, the Turkish military said in a statement, adding one IS militant was “captured dead” along with a rocket launcher and an AK-47 automatic rifle.
The attack comes amid a surge of violence in Turkey following a suicide bombing Monday near Turkey’s border with Syria that killed 32 people and wounded scores. The attack has been blamed on militants linked to the Islamic State group and came amid a clampdown by Turkey on the extremist group.
Turkish officials say they have detained more than 500 people suspected of working with IS in the last six months.
Turkey had reinforced its border at Kilis a day earlier, deploying elite special forces units there, a government official told The Associated Press. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations that bar civil servants from speaking to reporters without authorization.
Earlier Thursday, unknown assailants ambushed traffic police in the country’s mainly Kurdish southeast, killing one officer and seriously wounding a second.
Police Chief Halis Bogurcu said the officers were gunned down after they were called to a street in Diyarbakir, the region’s largest city, by people who reported a hoax traffic accident. There was no immediate claim of responsibility and an operation was launched to catch the assailants.
Kurdish militants on Wednesday claimed responsibility for killing two other policemen in retaliation for Monday’s suicide bombing, which killed many Kurds. Members of the minority group say the Turkish government did not do enough to prevent the attack.
The state-run Anadolu news agency said the youth wing of the Kurdish rebel group claimed responsibility Wednesday for killing a 45-year-old man in Istanbul. The report said the group falsely accused the man, identified as Mursel Gul, of being an IS member.
Butler reported from Istanbul.