Officials: Five Turkish police killed in PKK clash

March 21, 2012 19:49

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey - Five special force police officers were killed in clashes with Kurdish militants in a mountainous area in southeast Turkey on Wednesday amid heightened tensions in the region over Kurdish New Year celebrations.

Cobra attack helicopters fired on a suspected group of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants on Cudi mountain in Sirnak province. Other helicopters lowered special forces onto the mountain, security officials told Reuters.

Three soldiers were wounded, another security source said, but no further details were immediately available. Military reinforcements were sent to the area.

Separately, one police officer was wounded in a small explosion near offices of the ruling AK Party in Diyarbakir, the largest city in the mainly Kurdish southeast of the country, another security official said.

The violence occurred a day after Turkish police fired teargas and water cannon in clashes with thousands of Kurdish protesters gathered at unauthorized New Year celebrations across southeastern Turkey.

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