Armored vehicle hits 5-year-old girl in southeastern Şanlıurfa province

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A 5-year-old girl was seriously injured after being hit by an armored vehicle in southeastern Turkey’s Şanlıurfa province on Wednesday, crushing her leg, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported on Thursday, citing the Duvar news website.

Nure Dikçe was playing in front of her home when the vehicle crushed her leg, inflicting serious injuries. The incident was recorded by security cameras, and the images were shared on Twitter by Ayşe Sürücü, a deputy from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

“Are Kurdish-majority cities a security threat to the government?” she asked on Twitter. “Is this why there are so many armored vehicles on the streets?”

Mehmet Velat İzol, the chair of the Şanlıurfa Bar Association, said on Twitter they had warned authorities about the dangers of armored vehicles patrolling neighborhood. “Our warnings were ignored, and the bar will closely follow the legal processes concerning this incident,” he said.

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 have been injured in 63 accidents involving armored vehicles over the past 10 years.

A 7-year-old boy, Miraç Miroğlu, was riding a bicycle when he was hit and killed by an armored vehicle in September.

The İdil Public Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into the incident, which was classified as a fatal traffic accident, without detaining the vehicle’s driver after his testimony.

The police report concluded that Miraç was the primarily negligent party in the accident as he acted with “carelessness” and failed to take notice of a “stop sign” in the street.

The only fault attributed to the armored vehicle’s driver was his failure to reduce his speed when nearing the intersection where the accident occurred.

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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