[QODLink]
Middle East
Kurdish rebels storm Turkey border post
Government combat helicopters deployed after rebels attack post in Kurdish southeast, killing at least 19 combatants.
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2012 08:36

At least 19 people have been killed in southeastern Turkey after a battle between soldiers and members of a Kurdish separatist group, the local provincial governor has said.

Six soldiers, two government-paid village guards and 11 Kurdish rebels were killed in the fighting near the village of Gecimili in Hakkari province, Governor Orhan Alimoglu said on Sunday.

The incident occurred near the Iraqi border early on Sunday, he said, adding that 15 soldiers had also been wounded.

Local media reported that the rebels fired on the army outpost in Hakkari with rocket launchers just after midnight.

The military sent in reinforcement following the raid, using attack helicopters to fire on the rebels' escape routes, state-run TRT television reported.

The raid on the army post follows similar assaults in the Kurdish-dominated southeast that have prompted the army to launch an all-out offensive against Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) bases in the area.

The Turkish ground-and-air operation, one of the biggest in years, was launched about two weeks ago to drive out the rebels in the town of Semdinli, also in Hakkari province.

About 2,000 soldiers are involved in the offensive, private NTV television reported on Sunday.

"A serious and strong operation is under way in Semdinli," Besir Atalay, the Turkish deputy prime minister, said last week.

Fighting between the Turkish state and the PKK has claimed tens of thousands of lives since 1984, when the group first took up arms.

235

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
President Poroshenko arrives in Washington on Thursday with money and military aid on his mind, analysts say.
Early players in private medicine often focused on volume over quality, turning many Chinese off for-profit care.
Al Jazeera asked people across Scotland what they think about the prospect of splitting from the United Kingdom.
Blogger critical of a lack of government transparency faces defamation lawsuit from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
join our mailing list