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LOCAL > 22 killed in ongoing operation against PKK

HAKKARİ - Hürriyet Daily News

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The military has been conducting operations in the region since July 25, 2012. DHA Photo

The military has been conducting operations in the region since July 25, 2012. DHA Photo

Twenty-two militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have reportedly been killed in the eastern province of Hakkari following a week of operations in the mountainous area near the Iranian and Iraqi borders.

The military has been conducting operations in the region since July 25, and clashes intensified after nearly 100 PKK militants, crossing from northern Iraq, reached the town of Şemdinli on the night of July 29 in the eastern province of Hakkari.

 Recent reports said the PKK militants were surrounded in a rural area between the villages of Rüzgarlı, Bağlar and Yiğitler in Şemdinli.

Members of the PKK, meanwhile, allegedly detonated explosives on a bridge connecting the villages of Yeşiltaş and Dağlıca, 50 kilometers from Hakkari’s Yüksekova district yesterday night. The bridge was damaged beyond use and all land connection between Dağlıca and the rest of the province was severed. Repair teams from Yüksekova highway department have begun work on opening an alternate route.

Meanwhile, the details of the PKK operation in Şemdinli are slowly being clarified, daily Radikal reported.

The operation reportedly started after two PKK members who surrendered last week confessed that the group was planning to organize a large-scale attack in Şemdinli and capture the district’s center. In addition to the fighting, a large forest fire has also surrounded Şemdinli, Rahmi Kurt, the Hakkari provincial head of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday, adding that nothing was being done to extinguish the blaze.

BDP deputies Özdal Üçer and Esat Canan are currently in the district and are attempting to reach the villages where the clashes are occurring.

Kurt said police were not permitting deputies to enter the villages due to safety concerns.

August/01/2012

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