Claim: Kurdish militants rarely attack civilians

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Claim: Kurdish militants rarely attack civilians

2016-03-22 08:08 GMT
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Huffington Post columnist Mahir Zeynalov claims Kurdish militants rarely attack civilians

A hospital destroyed by PKK militants in southeastern Turkey

On 14 March 2016, Huffington Post’s Mahir Zeynalov published an article about the Ankara blast carried out the day before and claimed that “Kurdish militants rarely attack civilians”.1

However, Kurdish militants of various groups such as the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) - a Marxist-Leninist militant group which seeks to establish its ideology in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast and is recognized as a terrorist group by Turkey, the US, the EU, and NATO - or the PKK’s offshoot TAK (Kurdistan Freedom Falcons) have carried out many attacks targeting civilians.

The PKK is known to have killed 7,000 civilians, mostly of Kurdish origin, since its establishment in 1984. In addition to this, the PKK has wounded around 14,250 people over the past 32 years.2

The destruction caused by the PKK does not only target civilians directly, the organization has caused damage to many public places such as mosques, schools and hospitals.

PKK militants have destroyed 44 healthcare centers, and a number of schools have also been destroyed in eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey such as Van and Mardin, as well as a mosque in Diyarbakir in the past year alone.3

Furthermore, the TAK said it carried out the blast in Ankara the previous day in an online statement, having also claimed responsibility for another bomb attack in Ankara in February.4