Seven suspected PKK members killed in Turkey clashes overnight

Seven suspected PKK members killed in Turkey clashes overnight
Turkish army says that the clashes began when the PKK attacked Turkish security forces in the country's southeast.
2 min read
13 August, 2015
PKK fighters have been at war with the Turkish state for decades [AFP].

Seven suspected members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) were killed in clashes overnight that erupted when the rebels attacked military posts in eastern Turkey, the army said Thursday.

The attacks are the latest in an escalating cycle of violence between Turkish security forces and Kurdish rebels that has left a 2013 ceasefire agreed by the PKK in tatters.

PKK fighters launched an attack with guns and rockets on a command post in southeastern town of Silopi on the border with Iraq and Syria, prompting clashes that left four militants dead, an army statement said.

The PKK also attacked a military base and police station in the Agri province near the Iranian border, where three of their number were killed in clashes with the security forces, it said.

But the pro-PKK Firat news agency said two of those killed in Agri were teenagers aged 15 and 16 who were working at a bakery when Turkish security forces opened fire on nearby buildings.

Speaking to Firat news, pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP) lawmaker Dirayet Tasdemir described the incident as a "clear execution."

Details of the incident could not be independently verified.

Turkey is currently pressing a two-pronged "anti-terror" offensive against Islamic State group (IS, formerly ISIS) militants in Syria and PKK militants in northern Iraq and the southeast following a wave of attacks.

But, so far, the air strikes have overwhelmingly concentrated on the separatist Kurdish rebels, who have been waging a bloody campaign against the security forces.

According to an AFP toll, 30 members of the security forces have been killed in violence linked to the PKK since the crisis began last month.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday vowed that Turkey would press on with its relentless campaign against Kurdish militants "until not one terrorist" was left.