Posted on September 27, 2016 by Editorial Staff in PKK
Kurdish PKK guerrillas attack a Turkish military base in the Kurdish region, Sept. 6 2016. Photo: Screenshot/Gerila TV
ISTANBUL,— Ten members of the Turkish security forces were killed in two separate attacks in the Kurdish region in southeastern Turkey on Monday blamed on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), local media reported.
Two soldiers and two pro-government village guards — locals employed to combat Kurdish militants — were killed and six others wounded in a roadside bomb attack in Mardin province, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
The bomb, planted by the PKK, exploded when a vehicle carrying the forces passed by, it said. The authorities have launched an operation to hunt down the “terrorists” who fled, it added.
In a separate incident, six Turkish soldiers were killed in clashes with the PKK on a highway by the town of Uludere near the Iraqi border, the private Dogan news agency reported.
Another soldier was wounded in clashes that erupted at a checkpoint near a prison on the highway, according to Dogan.
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 Kurdish community in Turkey and worldwide openly sympathise with PKK rebels.
The Turkish army meanwhile said eight PKK members were “neutralised” on Sunday in ground and air operations in Hakkari province near the Iraqi border, Anadolu reported.
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. But the government says the operations are essential for public safety, blaming the PKK for the damage.
PKK’s Gerilla TV has released footage on Monday from action targeting a Turkish military outpost in Sirnak.
The government has responded with military operations against the group, killing more than 7,000 militants in Turkey and northern Iraq, the agency said. It is not possible to independently verify the toll.
The PKK said in July that 442 Kurdish guerrillas and 2,982 Turkish security troops have been killed since July 2015.