Posted on September 3, 2016 by Editorial Staff in 1 Top News, PKK
Car bomb exploded outside a Turkish police station, Diyarbakir, Turkey’s Kurdish region. Photo: Reuters
DIYARBAKIR-AMED, Turkey’s Kurdish region,— Turkey’s military killed 27 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in the largely Kurdish southeast on Friday, the armed forces said in a statement, in a day of violence in which at least seven security force members were also killed.
11 Turkish soldiers were killed in clashes with the PKK militants on Friday in eastern Van and southeastern Mardin provinces, Milliyet News reported.
Turkey’s southeast has been scorched by waves of fighting following the collapse last year of a 2-1/2-year ceasefire between state and the outlawed PKK.
Three soldiers were killed when a military post in Dargecit district of Mardin was attacked by PKK militants on Friday, and three village guards and a civilian were injured.
Eight Turkish soldiers have been killed in the ongoing clashes between security forces and PKK militants in mountainside of eastern Kurdish Van province, the governorship told local media.
The military said it killed 27 militants and wounded 30 more in air strikes and land operations in Hakkari, the Kurdish region in southeast Turkey, where the autonomy-seeking PKK has waged its three-decade insurgency.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim earlier said the group had squandered the chance for a political peace process, after it launched a series of bomb attacks following the collapse of the ceasefire in July 2015.
Separately, a blast from a roadside bomb hit a passing military vehicle near the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, security sources said, blaming the PKK.
According to a toll given by state-run Anadolu news agency on July 31 more than 600 Turkish security force members and 7,000 PKK militants have been killed by the PKK since the collapse of a ceasefire last year.
The PKK said in July that 442 Kurdish guerrillas and 2,982 Turkish security troops have been killed since July 2015.
Since July 2015, Turkey initiated a controversial military campaign against the PKK in the country’s southeastern Kurdish region after Ankara ended a two-year ceasefire agreement. Since the beginning of the campaign, Ankara has imposed several round-the-clock curfews, preventing civilians from fleeing regions where the military operations are being conducted.
Observers say the crackdown has taken a heavy toll on the Kurdish civilian population and accuse Turkey of using collective punishment against the minority.
Activists have accused the security forces of causing huge destruction to urban centres and killing Kurdish civilians.
Pro-Kurdish opposition political parties say about 1,000 civilians, mostly Kurds, have perished in the fighting, since the Turkish offensive against the PKK centred in towns and cities in Turkish Kurdistan.
The PKK took up arms in 1984 against the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to push for greater autonomy for the Kurdish minority who make up around 22.5 million of the country’s 78-million population. A large Turkey’s Kurdish community openly sympathise with PKK rebels.