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Turkish policeman killed in clashes with 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)
A relative of slain Turkish police officer Mehmet Bora Tayfur grieves over his flag-draped coffin during his funeral ceremony at the Kocatepe Mosque in Ankara on January 29, 2016. ©AFP

A Turkish police officer has been killed when clashes broke out between security forces and members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the country’s southeastern province of Sirnak.

The policeman died as government forces engaged in fierce clashes with PKK militants in the town of Cizre, located about 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) southeast of the capital, Ankara, on Thursday, the Cihan news agency reported.

The development came only three days after at least five members of the Turkish army forces were killed in two separate PKK attacks in the Sur district of Diyarbakir, situated 676 kilometers (420 miles) east of Ankara.

On January 31, a village guard, identified as Murat Sevim, was killed by PKK militants in the Ismetpasa neighborhood of the city of Sirnak, situated some 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) east of Ankara.

A man stands in the room of a house after it was hit by a mortar during clashes between Turkish police and PKK militants in the Sur district of Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey, on January 3, 2016. ©AFP

Earlier in the day, a Turkish policeman was injured during a mop-up operation against PKK militants in the Sur district. Four PKK militants were also killed in the same counter-terrorism offensive.

Ankara has been engaged in a large-scale campaign against the PKK in its southern border region in the past few months. The Turkish military has also been conducting offensives against the positions of the group in northern Iraq.

The operations began in the wake of a deadly bombing in the southern Turkish town of Suruc. More than 30 people died in the attack, which the Turkish government blamed on the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

After the bombing, the PKK militants, who accused the government in Ankara of supporting Daesh, engaged in a series of attacks against Turkish police and security forces, prompting the Turkish military operations.

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