Over 3,400 Turkish soldiers killed by PKK fire in a year

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A Kurdish PKK fighter (L), Turkey's military at funeral of soldiers (R). File photo

ARA News

Cizre – At least 3,404 members of the Turkish army and security forces were killed in attacks by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in 2016, including 38 high ranking officers, the PKK leadership said on Tuesday.

The Kurdish rebels have also destroyed 166 Turkish armoured vehicles and eight tanks, and shot down three military helicopters and a F-16 warplane.

“Those statistics are result of one year of fighting against the Turkish forces,” the PKK said, adding that their fight is not against Turkey’s citizens “but the suppressive authorities”.

“We have stepped up our military operations against the Turkish troops in 2016 in defence of our oppressed people. Erdogan’s government insisted to use force instead of dialogue, and this is our response,” the Kurdish group said in a statement.

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party also reported the death of 585 of its own fighters during clashes with the Turkish forces in 2016.

Following the breakdown of a ceasefire in July 2015, clashes broke out between youth groups affiliated to the armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Turkish security forces leading to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians and human rights abuses.

Reporting by: Eyaz Ciziri  and Qehreman Miste | Source: ARA News

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