Turkish security forces killed early on Saturday (May 16th) seven militants of the outlawed separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the southeastern province of Siirt, the army said in a statement. One village guard was also killed and another was injured in the fighting in the district of Eruh. The security forces launched the operation against PKK on Friday following a mine explosion that targeted the militia force.
Also on Friday, an explosion at a three-story building in the central province of Eskisehir injured 35 people including four policemen. The blast was reportedly caused by chemical-based products used to lay the floor, Eskisehir Governor Mehmet Kiliclar said. Most of the injured suffered from smoke inhalation and were hospitalised, the authorities said.
In other news, Turkish authorities confirmed the country’s first two swine flu cases on Saturday. Medical tests showed a US couple travelling by airplane from the US to Iraq, via Istanbul, was infected with the H1N1 virus, Health Minister Recep Akdag said in a statement. The couple arrived at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport late on Friday. The two received anti-viral medication and are under observation at an Istanbul hospital, Akdag told a news conference. The other 161 airplane passengers are monitored for signs of the flu, he said.