Two Turkish soldiers killed in clash after PKK ceasefire call

By REUTERS
October 12, 2015 11:34
1 minute read.

 
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DIYARBAKIR, Turkey - Two Turkish soldiers were killed in a clash with Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters in eastern Turkey at the weekend, the military said, as conflict continued despite a PKK ceasefire call.

The PKK announced its ceasefire on Saturday in response to calls to lower tensions ahead of a Nov. 1 election, telling militants to act only if they face an attack in a move three months after it ended a two-year-old ceasefire.

Hours earlier, two suicide bombers launched an attack on a rally of pro-Kurdish and leftist activists at Ankara's main train station, which a pro-Kurdish party said killed 128 people.

On Sunday, the Turkish military said its warplanes struck PKK targets in northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey over the weekend.

Late in the day, it said an operation had been launched against militants in the eastern province of Erzurum. Two soldiers were wounded on Sunday and died after being ferried by helicopter to hospital, the general staff statement said.

Security sources said some 30-35 PKK guerrillas were killed in northern Iraqi raids on Sunday while the military said 14 militants were killed in the district of Lice in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir.

Unrest continued elsewhere in the mainly Kurdish region, with the historic Sur district of Diyarbakir city remaining under round-the-clock curfew for the third day on Monday after police on Sunday fired tear gas to prevent protesters entering the district, witnesses said.

Before the widely expected ceasefire was announced, Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan had dismissed it as a "tactic" ahead of the election, reiterating government demands that the militants lay down arms and leave Turkey.

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