Turkey says scores killed in southeastern clashes

Kurdish rebels, civilians and soldiers killed after PKK launches attacks on security forces, authorities say.

A Turkish soldier stands guard at a check point on the main road between Mardin and Cizre near the southeastern town of Midyat, Turkey
The Turkish government has waged a comprehensive "anti-terrorist" operation against the PKK since late July [AP]

Thirty-four Kurdish rebels, four civilians and two Turkish soldiers have been killed in clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish fighters in the southeast of the country, according to the governorship of Turkey’s Sirnak province.

An ambulance driver and three other civilians also died in clashes in the Beytussebab district of Sirnak on Friday and Saturday, the governorship said in an official statement.

The statement said that another 11 police officers and eight soldiers were wounded in the clashes.

On Friday, outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters launched simultaneous attacks on police and gendarmerie command posts in Beytussebab.

The governorship added that 34 Kurdish rebels were killed in operations continuing in the region.

Turkey pounds Iraq targets

Meanwhile, the Turkish army announced on Saturday that its warplanes pounded PKK shelters and depots in the Gara region of northern Iraq.

The Turkish government has waged a comprehensive “anti-terrorist” operation against the PKK since late July, with the aim of flushing the group out of its strongholds in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq.

The PKK, designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey and its Western allies, has hit back, killing dozens of police and soldiers in almost daily bomb and gunfire attacks.

The escalation has shattered a two-year ceasefire which had raised hopes of an end to three decades of fighting, in which more than 40,000 people have been killed.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies