Turkey kills 13 PKK militants, vows no winter let up

December 19, 2011 19:56

TUNCELI - Turkish troops have killed 13 Kurdish militants and wounded at least five more in three days of a large operation in southeast Turkey, a senior military officer said on Monday.

The clashes come as the first winter snows settle in the mountains of mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey, a time when clashes between the military and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) traditionally ease off as movement becomes more difficult.

Turkey's deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay denied media reports of secret negotiations with the PKK to end the 27-year conflict that has killed more than 40,000 people.

"Our winter operations will continue, there is not and there will not be, any pause," Atalay said in a television interview. But he said the government was determined to continue to try to undercut the insurgency with democratic reforms.

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