Ten Turkish troops killed in two separate ‘PKK attacks’
State media blames Kurdish fighters for bomb and armed attacks carried out in southeastern Mardin and Sirnak provinces.
Ten members of the Turkish security forces have been killed in two separate attacks in southeastern Turkey blamed on Kurdish fighters, according to local media reports.
Six Turkish soldiers were killed in clashes with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on a highway by the town of Uludere, in Sirnak province, near the Iraqi border, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Monday.
Two others were wounded in the incident and security forces were in the midst of carrying out a military operation to capture the attackers late on Monday night.
In a separate incident, two soldiers and two village guards were killed and six others were wounded in a roadside bomb attack in Mardin province on Monday morning, Anadolu reported.
Village guards are local civilians trained and employed to combat Kurdish fighters.
The bomb, allegedly planted by the PKK members, exploded when a vehicle carrying the forces passed by, the agency said, adding that an operation was under way to hunt down the assailants who fled.
The PKK, designated as a “terrorist group” by Turkey and its western allies, has waged a bloody campaign against the Turkish state since it took up arms in 1984 for self-rule in the Kurdish majority southeast.
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The Turkish army said eight PKK members were “neutralised” on Sunday in ground and air operations in Hakkari province near the Iraqi border, Anadolu reported.
It said 320 PKK fighters have been killed in Hakkari since the operations began several weeks ago. Al Jazeera could not independently verify the figures.
In March 2013 the PKK declared a unilateral ceasefire, which held until July 2015 when the autonomy-seeking group began attacks again.
The conflict between the Turkish state and the PKK has claimed more than 40,000 lives since 1984.