Turkish military claims to kill Kurdish rebels in border clashes | News | DW | 05.06.2016
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Turkish military claims to kill Kurdish rebels in border clashes

The Turkish military claims its forces killed 27 Kurdish fighters in border areas between Turkey and Iraq in the past two days. But there was also an unusual attack on Turkish soldiers in the north of the Country.

Turkey's air force says it launched fresh attacks against Kurdish rebels in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq on Sunday.

Earlier Turkey's military said it had killed 27 Kurdish fighters Friday and Saturday in Hakkari province, along Turkey's southeastern border with Iraq and Iran.

The statement released on Sunday said airstrikes killed 20 members of the Kurdish Worker's Party (PKK) on Friday, and that seven more were killed in the same area on Saturday.

Saturday's strikes reportedly destroyed gun positions, shelters and caves used by PKK fighters in the Gara area of northern Iraq and in Diyarbakir province, according to the army's statement said.

PKK fighters attacked a military outpost in neighboring Sirnak province overnight and in the ensuing clash one PKK fighter was killed along with a member of the state's 'village guard' militia, security sources said.

Soldiers attacked in north

Two Turkish soldiers were injured in the northeastern province of Gumushane - an area not usually associated with the Kurdish conflict - when gunmen fired on their vehicle. Local media reports claimed one soldier died from his wounds, but this could not be confirmed.

It's unclear if Kurdish rebels carried out the attack.

The Turkish airstrikes carried out in Diyarbakir province were centered in the town of Lice where a curfew was imposed Saturday night; but it was lifted Sunday morning after the military operation was completed.

The military also targeted PKK fighters in multiple towns near the Syrian and Iraqi borders.

Turkish security forces claim more than 1,000 people, many of them PKK fighters, have been killed in clashes over the past three months.

Turkey, the US and the European Union consider the PKK to be a terrorist organization. Since they launched their insurgency in 1984 more than 40,000 people have been killed. Fighting has intensified since a two-year-old ceasefire collapsed last July.

bik/rc (AP, Reuters)