Turkish soldier dies after clashes with Kurdish militants

By AFP
Published: January 16, 2016
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

DIYARBAKIR: A Turkish soldier died early on Saturday from wounds sustained during clashes with militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and seven others were injured in the fighting, the chief of the General Staff said.

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The soldiers had been in a firefight on Friday in the Sur district of the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, which has been under a round-the-clock curfew since early December due to persistent fighting between security forces and PKK militants.

Hundreds of soldiers, thousands of insurgents and an estimated 170 civilians have died since Turkey’s three-decade-long conflict with the PKK started again in July.

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The fighting has moved to urban centers as security forces try to root out PKK militants who have dug trenches and erected barricades to protect weapon caches that authorities say they have been storing during a 2-1/2-year ceasefire.

More than 40,000 people, mainly Kurds, have been killed since the PKK, who want to establish an autonomous state, took up arms in 1984. Some 15 million Kurds live in Turkey’s southeast, bordering Syria and Iraq.

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