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article imageOutrage in Turkey after mother, baby killed by 'PKK roadside bomb'

By AFP     Aug 1, 2018 in World

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday vowed to fight Kurdish militants to the "last terrorist" after a mother and her 11-month-old baby were killed in a roadside bomb attack blamed on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Mother Nurcan Karakaya, 25, whose husband is a soldier, and her child Bedirhan Mustafa, were killed late Tuesday when a bomb detonated as their car passed by in the far southeastern province of Hakkari, the governor's office said.

The governor's office blamed the attack on the "separatist terrorist organisation", the phrase used by officials to describe the PKK.

In a sign of the severity of the attack for the Turkish authorities, Erdogan attended the funeral in the family's home Anatolian region of Sivas where he comforted the bereaved husband and father Serkan Karakaya.

"There is no giving up on chasing them (the PKK). And, God willing, our fight against them will continue until the last terrorist," Erdogan told mourners in a ceremony carried live on TV.

He once again vowed to sign into law reintroducing the death penalty in Turkey, if parliament approved it.

Erdogan has long threatened such a move, even though many analysts consider it unlikely as restoring capital punishment would end Turkey's bid to join the EU.

Using popular European names, he commented that "we don't care what Hans and George say about this issue. What God says, we look at this."

The PKK has waged an insurgency inside Turkey since 1984 that has claimed some 40,000 lives. It is banned as a terrorist organisation by Ankara, the United States and the European Union.

Following the collapse in 2015 of a two-year ceasefire -- which had included talks with the PKK's jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan -- fighting intensified between Turkish security forces and the PKK in the southeast.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu also hit back in an angry tirade against the PKK, referring to them as "baby-killers" in a term used frequently at the peak of the insurgency in the 1990s.

"The PKK were baby-killers 40 years before. From its leaders, founders, from the highest man to the lowest man, the PKK were baby-killers yesterday and they are today," he was quoted as saying on Wednesday by state-run news agency Anadolu.

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