Turkish troops die in clashes with Kurds

Latest fighting with rebels leaves nine soldiers and police dead, with more wounded, say Turkish security sources
A protest in Ankara, Turkey, against the Kurdisan Workers party
A protest in Ankara, Turkey, against the Kurdisan Workers party. Deadly fighting is continuing between Turkish security forces and Kurdish rebels. Photograph: AP
Nine Turkish security officials including soldiers and policemen have been killed during clashes with Kurdish militants near the south-eastern border with Syria and Iraq, security sources have said.

At least eight other members of the security services were wounded in the fighting in the province of Sirnak and the clashes were continuing, the sources said.
Fighting between the Turkish army and rebels from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers party (PKK) has intensified in recent months, a development some Turkish officials and analysts have linked to the chaos in Syria.
The militants killed five soldiers in a bomb attack on a military convoy two weeks ago. The Turkish military retaliated quickly, killing 21 rebels in an operation involving helicopter gunships.
More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict between the PKK and Turkish forces since the militants launched their insurgency 28 years ago with the aim of carving out a separate state in mainly Kurdish south-eastern Turkey.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the European Union. Some Turkish officials have said the group was getting direct support from Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and Kurdish groups in Syria.
Assad, who is battling a 17-month-old uprising against his rule, denies that Syria has allowed the PKK to operate on Syrian territory near the Turkish border.

Since June 2011, nearly 800 people have died in the conflict in Turkey, including about 500 PKK fighters, more than 200 security personnel and about 85 civilians, according to estimates by thinktank the International Crisis Group.

The fighting is focused in the mountainous region bordering Iraq and Iran, but the PKK has also carried out attacks in Turkish cities. Officials blamed it for a car bombing in August that killed nine people in the city of Gaziantep, near Turkey's south-eastern border with Syria.
Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/03/turkish-troops-die-clashes-kurds


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