Curfew widens as PKK kills 4 security forces in Sur
DHA photoThe curfew in place in several areas in the southeastern district of Sur has been extended to five other nearby areas and a main road, as three Turkish soldiers and a police officer were killed during clashes with outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in the district in Diyarbakır province.
The Sur District Governor’s Office said the curfew was extended to Sur’s Abdaldede, Alipaşa, Lalebey, Süleyman Nazif and Ziya Gökalp neighborhoods as well as Melihahmet Street on Jan. 27 so security forces could remove barricades and explosive devices and fill in ditches dug by militants. Residents living in these neighborhoods reportedly began to flee their homes.
“We’re in trouble, we have nowhere to go. What’s happening happens to us. They told us to leave our homes after trenches were dug. That’s enough. We want this conflict to come to an end,” a Sur resident told Doğan News Agency.
The announcement of the fresh curfews for the southeastern town came as three Turkish soldiers and a police officer were killed in the district, which has been under curfew for more than a month and seen violent clashes between Turkish security forces and militants from the outlawed group.
Doğan News Agency said snipers opened fire on security forces during intense clashes in Sur, wounding six security personnel, whom were taken to the Diyarbakır Military Hospital for treatment. However, three soldiers and a police officer later succumbed to their injuries.
The state-run Anadolu Agency said the three soldiers who were heavily wounded in an armed attack by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in Sur died at the hospital, where the police officer also succumbed to his wounds. Three others were also wounded and hospitalized, the statement said.
Meanwhile, 11 PKK militants were “neutralized” in a security operation in the Cizre district of southeastern Şırnak province on Jan. 26. The army said 465 PKK terrorists have been “neutralized” since Dec. 15, 2015, in the Cizre operations.
It added that six improvised explosive devices were destroyed, while 11 hunting rifles and a sniper rifle were seized.
According to the Turkish General Staff, nine other PKK terrorists were killed on Jan. 26 in Sur, which brought the total number of PKK deaths in the area to 134.
The move came days after the Turkish military destroyed 15 locations used as shelters by the PKK in a comprehensive military operation targeting the militant group.
Following a series of raids early Jan. 25 on 50 separate homes believed to have been used by the PKK, the counterterrorism unit of the police department in the southeastern province of Siirt raided 120 separate areas, 15 of which were later determined to be used as shelters by militants from the group and demolished, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The raids came upon intelligence that PKK militants were allegedly preparing to conduct an operation in the Ulus neighborhood of the province.
Turkey has recently beefed up efforts to fight the insurgency with aerial campaigns and ground operations.
Local governors have imposed curfews in several towns in the country’s east and southeast to root out militants from the area. The districts of Cizre and Silopi in Şırnak and the Sur district in Diyarbakır have all made headlines since mid-December 2015, with round-the-clock curfews and intense clashes between Turkish security forces and suspected PKK militants.