Clash with Kurdish PPK Rebels Leaves 30 Dead in Turkey

World | September 3, 2012, Monday // 09:28|  views

FILE images of a PKK training camp in northern Iraq. EPA/BGNES

Ten members of Turkey's security forces have been killed in clashes with Kurdish rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the southeastern province of Sirnak, officials say.

Around 20 PKK militants were also killed, close to the border with Syria and Iraq, governor Vahdettin Ozkan said, as cited by the BBC.

The fighting broke out late on Sunday evening and was continuing, he said.

Clashes between the army and the rebel PKK - which seeks autonomy for the Kurds - have intensified in the region in the past year.

The PKK attacked police and military targets in the town of Beytussebap late on Sunday night with guns and rocket-launchers, Turkish media reported.

Nine members of the security forces were killed and a tenth died later in hospital, local officials said. A further seven soldiers were wounded.

According to the governor, the Kurdish rebels appeared to have carried out a series of simultaneous attacks on checkpoints, Anatolia news agency said.

The Turkish military had responded with an extensive military offensive, Ozkan was reported as saying.

Both the US and EU classify the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) as a terrorist organization. It began a guerrilla campaign for an ethnic homeland in the Kurdish heartland of southeastern Turkey in 1984.

Fighting has increased in recent months, blamed partly on the turmoil in neighbouring Syria.

Ankara accuses Syria of allowing the PKK to operate on its territory although government forces have ceded control of some Kurdish areas of northern Syria to the opposition.

A month ago, rebels fired rocket launchers on a Turkish army border post in the middle of a large-scale military offensive in Hakkari province.

More recently, the PKK was blamed for a bombing in the south-eastern city of Gaziantep which left nine people dead, including four children. The PKK denied any involvement.

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Tags: PKK, Kurds, Kurdish rebels, Kurdish separatists, Kurdish, Kurdistan, Kurdistan Workers Party, turkey, Turkish Armed Forces, Turkish military, Southeastern Turkey, Syria, Iraq


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