At least six Turkish soldiers and three members of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) have been killed in clashes in Turkey. The fatalities came in two separate clashes overnight on Saturday. One Turkish soldier and three village guards were also wounded. Three special force police officers and three Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters were killed in a fierce clash along a highway in the remote province of Hakkari bordering Iraq and Iran. In a separate incident in Bitlis Province, three state-backed Kurdish village guards were also killed by PKK fighters around 30km from the provincial capital. Clashes between Turkish troops and PKK fighters have intensified in recent months. On Thursday, Turkish troops killed at least 20 PKK fighters in the Kazan Valley of Hakkari Province near the border with Iraq.
PKK has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s. The conflict has left tens of thousands of people dead.Over 40,000 people have lost their lives since the PKK launched its armed campaign against Ankara in 1984. PG/JR