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Five Turkish soldiers killed in PKK attacks in southeast

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)
Turkish special forces in a military vehicle in Sirnak on December 22, 2015 during security operations against Kurdish militants in the southeastern Turkey cities of Cizre and Silopi (Photo by AFP)

At least five members of the Turkish army forces have been killed in two separate attacks carried out by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in the country’s volatile southeast.

According to a statement released on the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) website, three members of the security forces were killed and two others were seriously wounded on Monday in an armed attack by PKK militants in the Sur district of Diyarbakir, situated 676 kilometers (420 miles) east of Ankara.

The two injured soldiers are still receiving treatment, reports said.

The statement also added that two other Turkish soldiers lost their lives in a separate attack in Sur on the same day.

This as three Turkish security officers, including a soldier and two police officers, were killed on January 31 in clashes with the PKK in the violence-hit Cizre district of the southeastern province of Sirnak.                     

Since late July 2015, Turkey’s southeastern regions have witnessed a spike in violence amid heavy confrontations between army forces and the PKK, an outlawed group that have been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since 1980s.

On July 20 last yerar, a bomb attack in the southern Kurdish-majority town of Suruc claimed more than 30 lives. The Turkish government blamed it on the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group. After the bombing, the PKK, accusing the government of supporting Daesh, engaged in a series of supposed reprisal attacks against Turkish police and security forces, in turn prompting the Turkish military operations.

Ankara’s military has also been involved in an offensive against positions of the Kurdish group in neighboring Iraq.

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