March 2, 2020 / 9:44 AM / a month ago

Rocket attack hits Turkish customs vehicle near Iran border - minister

ANKARA (Reuters) - A rocket hit an armoured vehicle carrying Turkish customs personnel in an attack near the border with Iran on Friday, killing one person and injuring others, Turkish officials said, adding that clashes were under way in the area.

The rocket struck the vehicle’s front wheel around 0550 GMT on Monday, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Twitter. He said “the terrorists were followed and cornered”, but did not specify who the attackers were believed to be.

Shortly after, Turkish Trade Minister Rushar Pekcan said one of the customs agents had been killed in the attack.

The office of the governor of Agri province said the vehicle was hit in transit from the Dogubayazit border area to the Gurbulak border gate, causing it to skid off the road and flip over. In did not say who had carried out the attack.

The vehicle was near a parking lot for freight trucks, hospital and security sources said. Several ambulances, security teams and search and rescue personnel were sent to the area.

Some Turkish media reports said the attack was carried out by Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants, who have fought an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984. The PKK are active in southeast Turkey but less so in Agri.

Earlier this month, Turkey closed its land and air borders with Iran over an outbreak of the new coronavirus. On Friday, Iran announced nationwide school closures as the death toll from the outbreak rose to 34.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Daren Butler and Peter Graff

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