September 20, 2012 / 3:33 PM / 6 years ago

Prosecutor dies in Turkey's east after militant attack

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A Turkish prosecutor has died in hospital after being shot by a Kurdish militant as he entered his apartment building in eastern Turkey, the chief prosecutor of a neighbouring province said on Thursday.

Murat Uzun, 33, was shot in the head on Wednesday in the town of Ovacik in Tunceli province and was flown by helicopter to hospital, said Musa Catal, chief prosecutor of Elazig province. Uzun died of his wounds on Thursday.

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) claimed responsibility for the killing in a statement on the militant group’s website.

While the motive for the assassination was not clear, the PKK - considered a terrorist organisation by Ankara, the United States and the European Union - has carried out targeted killings on government officials.

The militant group, which has been fighting the Turkish state since 1984, has stepped up its attacks over the past year, ambushing military convoys, kidnapping government officials and laying roadside bombs.

Ankara has responded by bombarding PKK camps with fighter jets and attack helicopters in some of the heaviest fighting since the PKK took up arms almost three decades ago. More than 40,000 people have been killed in that time.

Writing by Seda Sezer; Editing by Robert Woodward

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