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Seven killed in fighting between Turkish forces, PKK militants

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
People are seen near a barricade after clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in the Nusaybin district of Mardin, southeast Turkey, November 26, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Fighting between Turkish forces and militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has left seven people dead near Turkey’s southeastern borders.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Turkish military said one soldier and six PKK militants had been killed in clashes that broke out in the Derik district of Mardin Province near the Syrian border.

During the clashes, “two soldiers were critically wounded,” the Turkish General Staff said in the statement, adding that one of them later died of his wounds in hospital.

Earlier on Monday, police officers killed three PKK members in southeastern Sirnak Province in two different clashes after the former reportedly came under attack with heavy weapons, including rocket-propelled grenades.

According to the Turkish government, over 2,000 PKK militants have been killed in Turkish military operations since July 22. Over 180 Turkish soldiers and police forces have also been killed in the fighting, according to pro-government Turkish media.

The PKK has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since 1984.​ A shaky ceasefire between Ankara and the PKK that had stood since 2013 was declared null and void following the Turkish military campaign against the militant group.

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