PKK hijack truck seizing explosive substance
ISTANBUL - Militants from Turkey's separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) on Monday hijacked a truck, seizing 400 kilogrammes (880 pounds) of the explosive substance ammonium nitrate, the Turkish army said.
The incident in Turkey's southeast comes amid an sudden upsurge in attacks blamed on the Kurdish militant group, including the killing in broad daylight of three off-duty Turkish soldiers at the weekend.
The army said that the latest incident took place at a private coal mine in the Silopi district of Sirnak province close to the border with Iraq.
Having seized the vehicle, the group loaded the explosives onto another truck and then released the driver of the first truck.
The army blamed the incident on the "separatist terror organisation", its customary term for the PKK which it never refers to by name.
The upsurge in tensions with the PKK, which until now has largely observed a fragile ceasefire since March 2013, highlight the controversy over the government's strategy against Islamist jihadists in Syria.
Kurdish militants accuse the Turkish government of failing to support Kurdish fighters seeking to prevent the Syrian border town of Kobane from being overrun by jihadists.
Turkey has arrested seven people suspected of involvement in Saturday's killing of three soldiers in the town of Yuksekova in Hakkari province -- a crime that commentators warned risked derailing the peace process with the Kurds.
At least 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK in 1984 launched an insurgency aimed at winning self-rule and greater rights for Turkey's Kurdish minority.