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Turkish military kills 23 Kurdish militants

December 17, 2015

Turkey's state-run news agency has announced that a military operation has resulted in the deaths of 23 insurgents. Turkey's prime minister has vowed to intensify operations against Kurdish militants.

Anti-terror police in Turkey
Image: picture-alliance/AA/O.Ozer

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reported that a total of 23 Kurdish rebel fighters had been killed near the Syrian and Iraqi borders over the past two days during security operations in the southeast of the country. Anadolu said the insurgents were associated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Pro-Kurdish media reported on Wednesday that an 11-year-old boy had also been killed during the operation, which could not be independently verified.

The beleaguered town of Cizre

Curfews were imposed in the towns of Silopi and Cizre in the province of Sirnak where the military operations continued to unfold.

PKK fighters
The conflict between Kurdish PKK rebels and the Turkish government has been raging on for more than 30 years.Image: Getty Images/AFP/I. Akengin

The town of Cizre had previously been placed under a curfew for over a week in September that was followed by an all-out siege, during which the Turkish military dropped 80 bombs on targets in and around the area. The September operation had led to international criticism amid reports of civilian deaths.

Ongoing clashes

Renewed fighting between the PKK and Turkish government forces has led to hundreds of deaths since Turkey started its campaign against insurgents in July following the collapse of a ceasefire agreement between the government and the PKK.

The Turkish government said it planned to deploy another 10,000 security personnel to the region. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu vowed that the operations would continue "neighborhood by neighborhood, house by house and street by street."

The conflict between the PKK and Ankara has killed more than 40,000 people since 1984.

ss/sms (AP, Reuters, AFP, dpa)