ANKARA (Reuters) - Explosives and ammunition were found close to a armed police checkpoint on a road connecting the Turkish capital of Ankara to the coastal city of Samsun, the local governor’s office said on Thursday.
Two hand grenades, a machine gun, a Kalashnikov assault rifle, four detonators, hundreds of bullets and three bags of explosive substances were found less than a kilometer away from a gendarmarie checkpoint on the road, the Ankara governor’s office said in a statement, adding investigations were on-going.
Turkish armed forces have regularly seized weapons and munitions in recent months in the southeast, where the military is fighting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) following the collapse of a ceasefire between the group and the state last July.
However, such seizures are rare outside the mainly Kurdish southeastern provinces.
The new find came a week after a car bomb in Ankara killed 29 people.
The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), a PKK splinter group, claimed responsibility for last week’s attack when a car laden with explosives detonated next to military buses as they waited at traffic lights near Turkey’s armed forces’ headquarters, parliament and government buildings.
Initially 28 people were killed in the blast. The death toll later climbed to 29.
The PKK, which has been carrying out a violent insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984, seeks autonomy for Turkey’s Kurds. At least 40,000 people have been killed in the violence.
Reporting by Dasha Afanasieva and Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by David Dolan/Jeremy Gaunt