Turkey attacks timeline: Istanbul airport attack is fourth to hit city

Istanbul, June 29 (IANS) Turkey has seen nearly 300 lives lost in the past year due to terror attacks, including the latest one on Ataturk airport that left 41 people dead, which also is the fourth time the city was hit in the last few months.

Over 260 people have been killed in the country in eight attacks since October 2015, most of them claimed by Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) or blamed on the Islamic State militant group.

Many of the attacks appear to have targeted tourists, who are a major contributor to Turkey’s economy.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility after Tuesday’s blasts, but Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said they appeared to have been carried out by the IS.

On June 7, 11 people were killed and 36 wounded when a car packed with explosives was detonated by remote control as a police bus passed by in the Vezneciler district of Istanbul.

Earlier, on March 31, a car bomb killed seven police officers and wounded about dozens other in Diyarbakir, the biggest city in the largely Kurdish southeast, a day before then-Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was scheduled to visit.

On March 20, a suicide bomber killed himself and four foreign tourists. Turkey’s Interior Minister identified him as a militant with links to IS. The victims were two American-Israelis, an Israeli and an Iranian.

On March 13, a car bomb killed at least 37 people and injured 75 others in Ankara, the capital.

On February 17, 27 soldiers and a civilian were killed when a vehicle was detonated as military buses passed by in Ankara.

On January 12, an attack that Turkish authorities blamed on IS killed a dozen German tourists visiting Istanbul’s historic sites.

On December 23, 2015, one person was killed when an explosion hit Istanbul’s second-busiest airport, Sabiha Gokcen, on the Asian side of the city. A Kurdish militant group claimed responsibility.

And on October 10, the deadliest attack in modern Turkish history killed at least 102 people and injured 248 others when two suicide bombers detonated explosives in their vests outside a train station during a pro-Kurdish rally in Ankara. US intelligence officials said the attack was directed by IS.

Turkey is part of the US-led coalition fighting the IS, but it has also been clashing with the outlawed PKK since a two-year ceasefire collapsed in July.

PKK, which says it is fighting for autonomy for Turkey’s large ethnic Kurdish minority, is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and the EU.

It has been targeting police and military personnel with bombs since the peace process collapsed last year, while Turkey has been staging regular airstrikes against PKK positions in mountainous northern Iraq, where it has camps near the Turkish border.

The decades-long conflict has killed more than 40,000 people.

–IANS

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