3 Turkish Soldiers, 2 Kurdish Rebels Killed in Southeast Turkey

Posted August 28th, 2011 at 2:50 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Turkish officials say a roadside bomb has killed three soldiers and wounded two others in the country's southeast, where Kurdish rebels have been intensifying attacks on government troops.

The officials say the blast happened early Sunday, as a Turkish military convoy was passing by in Hakkari province. Rebels of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, have killed more than 40 Turkish security personnel in a series of attacks in the region since July.

Turkey's state-run Anatolia news agency says government forces killed two PKK rebels who were trying to plant a mine in another park of Hakkari on Sunday.

The Turkish military also carried out airstrikes on suspected rebel positions in northern Iraq this month. The PKK has bases there for cross-border operations against Turkish targets.

Hundreds of Turkish Kurds protested the airstrikes by marching toward Hakkari's border with Iraq on Sunday, calling themselves “human shields” against future Turkish raids on the PKK bases. One protester died as Turkish police fired tear gas to disperse the demonstration in the town of Cukurca.

Pro-Kurdish media and witnesses say a tear gas cannister struck and fatally wounded the man, a provincial assembly member from the neighboring province of Van. Turkish authorities said they will conduct an autopsy on the politician, Yildirim Ayhan, to determine the cause of death.

The PKK has been fighting the Turkish government since 1984 in a conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people.

In another development, published reports say a small device exploded on a beach in the southwestern Turkish resort town of Kemer, slightly wounding six people, including tourists. Authorities say the device was buried in sand and sent pebbles and gravel flying through the air, causing the injuries.

Kemer is a popular destination for Russian and German visitors.

The governor of Antalya province, in which Kemer is located, said it was too early to determine the cause of the explosion.