4 Killed in New Clashes between PKK, Turkey’s Forces in Diyarbakir

4 Killed in New Clashes between PKK, Turkey’s Forces in Diyarbakir
Tue Mar 15, 2016 13:58:21

At least four people have been killed in fresh clashes that erupted between Turkish forces and militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir.

Security sources said that the skirmishes broke out on Tuesday in Diyarbakir’s Baglar district, leaving three PKK militants and an army soldier dead.

A curfew has already been declared in the Kaynartepe neighborhood of the district, with authorities citing PKK moves to erect barricades, dig ditches and plant explosives in the area.

According to witnesses, the area saw sporadic clashes between PKK militants and security forces overnight as the former blocked the roads there.

In recent days, the Turkish military has stepped its military campaign against PKK militants after a huge bomb attack hit a busy square in the capital Ankara over the weakened, leaving 37 people dead and 125 others wounded.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing, but security officials say initial findings suggest the two perpetrators of the car bombing were linked to the PKK.

Since Monday, Ankara has also increased its aerial raids against PKK positions in northern Iraq.

Turkey’s military said in a Tuesday statement that 45 PKK militants are believed to have been killed in Monday air raids carried out by a number of Turkish warplanes in the Qandil mountain area in northern Iraq where the group has its main bases.

The strikes also demolished two weapons depots as well as two Katyusha rocket positions in the area, the statement added.

The developments come as Ankara has been imposing curfews in several mainly-Kurdish towns in its southeast since August last year.

The operations began in the wake of a deadly July 2015 bombing in the southern Turkish town of Suruc. More than 30 people died in the attack, which the Turkish government blamed on the Takfiri ISIS terrorist group.

After the bombing, the Kurdish militants, who accuse the Turkish government of supporting ISIS, engaged in a series of attacks against Turkish police and security forces, prompting the Turkish military operations in return.

The PKK militants have had ambitions for an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since the 1980s, Press TV reported.

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