Turkish Airstrike Kills 35 Kurdish Villagers by Accident

Turkish warplanes killed at least 35 people in the southeastern, Kurdish part of the country Thursday, apparently mistaking them for rebel fighters, a pro-Kurdish party and local officials said. According to the Dogan news agency, the Thursday raid began after drones spotted a "crowded group" near Ortasu near the Iraqi border, where many attacks are based — but the group attacked was one of teenaged smugglers, not guerrillas. They were bringing diesel drums over the border, and when struck, their fuel exploded and burned them to death. "The state knew that these people were smuggling in the region. This kind of incident is unacceptable," said the mayor of a nearby town. Turkey did not confirm whether it was responsible for the airstrike, but it has stepped up similar raids in the wake of an August attack by the secessionist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). A PKK-affiliated news agency said another 17 people were missing.

Contact Us