Suspected terrorists killed three police officers and injured five others yesterday in the northern city of Trabzon's Maçka district. Officers were manning a checkpoint and carrying out routine traffic inspection when gunmen opened fire on their vehicle. Authorities did not identify the organization to which the gunmen belonged. The attackers fled the scene after the incident, although the PKK is suspected, as it has been carrying out a campaign of violence in eastern and southeastern Turkey.
Officials said the checkpoint was on a road near a forested hill and the gunmen were hiding in the forest before launching the attack with rifles and hand grenades. The assailants engaged in a gunfight, with officers responding while armed locals in the area also opened fire on the group of gunmen. As Daily Sabah went to print, a manhunt to capture the assailants was underway flanked by reconnaissance drones.
Terrorist attacks are rare in the Black Sea region, and the last attack in Maçka was in 2005. In August 2005, three PKK members fought with police who cornered them in a shop, and one police officer was injured in the clash.
The PKK is known to have recently attempted to gain a foothold in northern Turkey, although for decades, activities were mostly focused in the east and southeast. In recent months, the group has launched several attacks targeting security forces in northern provinces. In June, two military officers were killed when PKK militants opened fire on a military vehicle in Gümüşhane, a district near Maçka.