Blast, clashes hit east

Blast, clashes hit east

HAKKARİ – Anatolia News Agency
Blast, clashes hit east

The military says 20 PKK militants have surrounded in an operation in Şırnak. DHA Photo

A specialized sergeant died in a landmine blast in the eastern province of Hakkari yesterday while a suspected militant of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was killed in clashes with the military.

The mine, which was allegedly placed by the PKK, exploded as soldiers were patrolling near Hakkari’s Dağlıca village at about 11:30 a.m.

The sergeant’s identity had not yet been released when the Hürriyet Daily News went to print late yesterday.

Meanwhile, one PKK member was killed in Şırnak’s İdil district during a firefight between the militant group and a gendarmerie special operative team.

In an ongoing operation on Şırnak’s Cudi Mountain, 20 PKK members were said to be surrounded by military forces, Anatolia news agency reported. The location of the group was determined by an unmanned aerial vehicle. The group was reported to include the PKK’s regional commander.

The clashes started at night and continued until the early hours of yesterday, officials said. Troops found the body of a dead PKK militant as they investigated the area after the clashes.

Security officials said the operation in the region would continue for at least another day.

It was the second major military operation the Turkish military has launched against PKK militants in the region in the past week. The Turkish military said Dec. 21 that 21 PKK members, including a regional commander of the organization, were killed in a five-day operation in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.