Thursday, July 1, 2010

Five Turks, 12 Kurds dead in fights in E-Turkey

At least 12 Kurdish separatist fighters and five members of the Turkish security forces have been killed in clashes in the southeast of the country. Two separate attacks by suspected members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Siirt province left two soldiers and three village guards dead, an army statement said. Twelve fighters were then killed in the ensuing operation late on Wednesday, backed by artillery fire and helicopter gunships, the statement added. The violence is a further sign of rising tension in the troubled region, where the PKK are fighting for an independent Kurdish state. More than 50 Turkish soldiers have been killed in recent months as the PKK has increased attacks on military installations in the primarily Kurdish southeast. The military says 42 PKK were killed in clashes in June. The outlawed PKK has stepped up attacks on the military after calling off its one-year truce on June 1, dissatisfied with prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's concessions to Kurdish demands for reform.

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