New PKK attack injures 2 policemen in Kurdistan Region's Duhok: Source
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A security source told Kurdistan 24 on Wednesday night that fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have wounded two policemen during their third attack in Duhok province in a single day.
The source, from Duhok's Oil and Gas Police, said that two of their ranks had been carrying out their normal duties of providing security for petroleum facilities and infrastructure in border areas of Chamanke when the assault on them occurred.
The PKK, headquartered in the mountains of the Kurdistan Region, has been fighting a decades-long conflict against Ankara over Kurdish rights in Turkey that has led to tens of thousands of deaths on both sides. Rural residents and the local environment continue to suffer from ongoing clashes, including multiple civilian fatalities and other casualties.
Although the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has repeatedly asked the PKK and the Turkish government to take their fight elsewhere, tensions between the KRG and the PKK have reached new levels recently, to the point of actual armed conflict.
The incident involving the Oil and Gas police came following another on Wednesday morning in which PKK fighters are accused of attacking a convoy of Kurdistan Region Peshmerga forces in the same area just after a roadside bomb had detonated nearby. Chamanke Mayor Aland Amir told Kurdistan 24 that the action resulted in one death and three injuries.
After the first incident, Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani “strongly denounced the Kurdistan Workers Party’s (PKK) attack on Peshmerga forces in the town of Chamanke in Duhok province,” in a statement.
Later on Wednesday evening, the PKK claimed responsibility for the two explosive devices that targeted the Peshmerga fighters.
Deputy speaker of the regional parliament Hemin Hawrami said in another statement, “The PKK’s attack on the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga forces, the only legitimate and constitutional force in the region, proves that the PKK does not shy away from disrupting coexistence and brotherhood in the Kurdistan Region.”
Hawrami strongly condemned the attack and demanded that the guerilla group stop its “attacks and violations against on Kurdistan region’s soil and its people.”
The KRG has stated several times that the PKK attacks crossed serious “red lines,” although it rejected the group's attempts to draw it into internal fighting.
On Monday, Barzan called again on PKK fighters to leave the Kurdistan Region's border areas to prevent further escalation with Turkey.
On Friday, the KRG “strongly” condemned what it said was a “terrorist attack” on Wednesday that targeted a pipeline that exports crude oil pumped by the autonomous region.
While it was not immediately clear who was behind the attack, the PKK claimed responsibility on Thursday for an act of “sabotage” that appeared similar to the pipeline incident the day before that had been described by the KRG.
Editing by John J. Catherine