URFA – Turkish authorities announced Thursday that 15 rebel fighters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have been killed in clashes with the Turkish army in the town of Derik in the state of Mardin, southeastern Turkey.
Local officials in Mardin said in a statement on Thursday that authorities have imposed a curfew in a number of neighborhoods and villages in the province since November 27, under the pretext of preserving civilians’ lives and property.
“The lockdown ended on Thursday,” the statement read.
Turkish security forces started immediately removing the checkpoints that have been erected in the town, piling the trenches and dismantling the explosives, but the PKK supporters launched rocket-propelled grenades on the Turkish troops, according to the statement.
Subsequent to the attacks, sporadic clashes broke out between the Turkish troops and PKK rebels in the area.
At least 15 PKK fighters were killed during the clashes, and two PKK members were arrested, according to an official statement by the Mardin municipality. Also, a Turkish soldier was killed and four others were wounded, one of them is in critical condition.
The Turkish forces reportedly seized a large deal of arms, ammunition and military equipment during the clashes.
The PKK hasn’t issued any statement regarding the Turkish claims.
Last Saturday, a prominent Kurdish lawyer and rights activist was shot dead in an incident that is likely to fuel further unrest in Turkey’s Kurdish southeast.
The PKK is listed by Turkey, the United States and the European Union as a terrorist organization. However, the PKK says it is fighting for the legitimate rights of the Kurdish people in Turkey, demanding greater autonomy for Turkey’s Kurds.
Reporting by: Jan Nasro
Source: ARA News
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