Clashes in Turkey's southeast kill nearly 70
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Kurdistan24) – Amid conflicting estimates on Monday, nearly 24 Kurdish fighters and 40 Turkish security elements were killed in Turkey’s southeastern Nusaybin and Sirnak, in addition to clashes and shelling in many other areas of the country’s southeast.
A Kurdistan24 reporter said that 24 fighters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were killed when they tried to flee into Syria from the Turkish border town of Nusaybin.
Turkish security sources said their forces were conducting a sweep through Nusaybin when clashes broke out as PKK fighters tried to reach the nearby Syrian city of Qamishlo.
Additionally, Reuters said PKK fighters detonated roadside explosives in Nusaybin as a police vehicle passed, killing one police officer and wounding three others.
Netherlands-based Kurdish Firat News Agency (ANF), a close associate of HPG (the military wing of PKK), reported on Sunday that clashes were resumed in many neighborhoods of Sirnak where state forces destroyed and damaged civilians’ houses.
“State forces bombarded Yeni Mahalle neighborhood and set several businesses in the city center on fire, while fire trucks were not allowed to enter the neighborhoods and intervene,” ANF reported.
Regarding the death toll in Sirnak, ANF said 40 Turkish special operations forces were trapped under the rubble of three buildings, most of whom had died.
Turkey's Dogan News said Turkish security forces also clashed with Kurdish fighters on Sunday in the town of Yuksekova near the Iranian border, adding that one Turkish police officer was killed and a soldier wounded.
Turkey’s southeast has been scorched by violence since a ceasefire between the PKK and the government collapsed last July. Round-the-clock curfews were instituted in parts of the southeast.
Reporting by Hisham Arafat
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany and Ava Homa