Two Turkish troops killed by PKK fighters in Diyarbakir
The PKK ended a month-long ceasefire in Turkey following the victory of the AKP in the elections. (AFP/File)
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At least two Turkish security forces have been killed in two separate attacks reportedly carried out by members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the country’s troubled southeastern province of Diyarbakir.
Turkish military sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said PKK militants opened fire on security forces deployed to the town of Silvan, situated more than 450 kilometers (279 miles) east of the capital, Ankara, on Thursday evening, killing a soldier and a policeman.
The deputy police commissioner had been injured in the assault, but later succumbed to his gunshot wounds in hospital.
Earlier in the day, PKK fighters shot and wounded a soldier in the town of Dicle. He was taken to a local hospital to receive medical treatment but died of his injuries.
The Turkish military has been conducting offensives against PKK positions in northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey since July.
Ankara’s anti-PKK military campaign gained new momentum after the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) won a resounding victory in last Sunday’s snap election and regained its parliamentary majority.
In a his first speech after the AKP’s victory, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the party’s founder, pledged that the operations against PKK will continue both inside the country and abroad until all the Kurdish militants are “liquidated.”
On November 4, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu ordered the continuation of military operations against PKK “without interruption in winter conditions.”
Truce no more
Following Erdogan’s remarks, the PKK ended a month-old unilateral truce it had announced after the twin blasts that targeted a group of pro-Kurdish activists in Ankara on October 10.
“The unilateral halt to hostilities has come to an end with the AKP war policy and the latest attacks,” the PKK said in a statement carried by the Firat news agency on Thursday.
According to a Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, more than 150 Turkish soldiers and police officers have been killed since July 7 in armed attacks blamed on the PKK, which has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s.