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Police officer who crushed boy to death in SE Turkey walks free

Miraç Miroğlu

A police officer who caused the death of a 7-year-old boy in southeastern Turkey last week with an armored vehicle he was driving has been allowed to remain free after testifying to a prosecutor, the Mezopotamya news agency reported.

Mihraç Miroğlu was hit and killed by an armored vehicle in the predominantly Kurdish-populated Şırnak province in southeastern Turkey on Friday.

Mihraç, who was riding a bicycle when he was hit, was taken to İdil State Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The İdil Public Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into the incident, which was classified as a fatal traffic accident.

The police officer, whose name was not revealed, testified to a prosecutor on Monday and was not detained.

In his statement the police officer claimed he was not driving the vehicle very fast and that he regrets the tragedy.

The killing of civilians by military vehicles is common in Turkey’s Southeast, where there is a heavy military presence due to ongoing clashes between the Turkish military and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

According to a report by the Human Rights Association (İHD) Diyarbakır branch, 36 people, including six women and 16 children, have been killed and 85 were injured in 63 accidents involving armored vehicles over the past 10 years.

In May 2017 two children were killed when an armored police vehicle rammed into their house in the Silopi district of Şırnak province while the children were asleep.

Seven-year-old Berfin Dilek was also hit and killed by an armored police vehicle on her way home from school in the Dargeçit district of the southeastern Mardin province on Feb. 9, 2017.

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