Clashes between PKK members and security forces end after two days in southeastern Turkey

Clashes between PKK members and security forces end after two days in southeastern Turkey

Clashes between PKK members and security forces end after two days in southeastern Turkey

AA Photo

The clashes that had erupted between members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and security forces in southeastern province of Diyarbakır have ended after a two day skirmish.

The attack began when the PKK blocked a main road in the region.

However, illegal demonstrations continued for two days after the main road blocked by PKK members was opened on May 26, following interventions by security forces.

The group threw Molotov cocktails, noise bombs filled with nails and fireworks during the clashes, while security forces used water cannons to disperse them.

Seven security officers have been slightly wounded, the Diyarbakır Governor office said, as reported by Anadolu Agency.

An operation has been ongoing to capture the groups and ensure the safety of citizens travelling in the region, the statement added.

PKK members first gathered on May 25 to protest an irrigation dam project planned to be built in the region, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) said in an official statement released May 26.

Groups repeatedly gathered at the scene and blocked the road by parking vehicles on the road, despite interventions, and were finally dispersed on late May 26, the TSK said.

PKK members also opened harassing fire, to which the TSK immediately returned fire in Lice district.

Tension high in region

Tension in the region has escalated in recent days, despite the ongoing peace process.

A convoy of 10 vehicles, including eight trucks and two armored military cars, was attacked by members of the PKK on May 25 in the eastern province of Şırnak. Militants detonated improvised explosives remotely as the convoy was going to a post construction area, and another explosive device was defused by the authorities at the scene. No casualties were reported.

Meanwhile, in the eastern province of Bingöl on May 22, militants set alight two excavators and a cylinder vehicle after detaining guards.

On May 21, militants halted a truck carrying wood and set it alight in Mardin, while also threatening citizens not to cut firewood in the area and seizing people’s cell phones.

Other incidents involving PKK members were reported by the military in the eastern provinces of Hakkari and Ağrı.

The government-led initiative to address the long-running Kurdish issue by ending the three-decade-old conflict between security forces and the PKK has ground to a halt in recent months. Öcalan began talks with Turkish officials last year to stop the conflict, which has left more than 40,000 people dead over the past three decades. In March 2013, he ordered his fighters to observe a cease-fire, which has tentatively held since then.