Intense clashes continue in SE Turkey
HAKKARİ - Doğan News Agency
DHA photoIntense clashes are continuing throughout southeast Turkey following close to a month of operations in the area.
Turkish soldiers killed five militants who attacked state buildings in a town in southeast Turkey on the evening of Aug. 23, bringing to 21 the number of militants killed since the launch of a deadly bomb attack on an army convoy a day earlier.
The militants were killed in intense clashes that lasted for two hours in the Şemdinli district of the eastern province of Hakkari on Aug. 24. Around 30 suspected members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) mounted simultaneous attacks on the district governor’s office and the central police station of Şemdinli, a gendarmerie headquarters located 100 meters from the police station, as well as an army brigade headquarters outside the town center at around 8:30 p.m.
The attacks came just hours after government officials said Turkish troops had killed 16 PKK fighters in an offensive targeting militants who had killed five soldiers and wounded seven on Aug. 22 in a bomb attack on their convoy in Şemdinli.
Security forces were reportedly informed of the attack as they had previously received intelligence and were prepared when PKK militants launched rockets and opened fire with assault rifles. Intense clashes erupted in Şemdinli town center, which lasted for about two hours, damaging several civilian and official buildings. Security forces conducted a night-long operation through Şemdinli’s neighborhoods once the clashes died down.
Bomb squads were deployed on streets of Şemdinli in the morning to look for unexploded munitions. Police found several unexploded hand grenades and an unexploded rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) that had pierced through the wall of a local bakery. The explosives were defused by bomb specialists. Operations were continuing in the district to apprehend the militants who fled to mountainous areas.
Shops and stores remained closed in Şemdinli today, with only one bakery and one pharmacist remaining open.
PKK attacks same headquarters for second time
PKK militants attacked the Omurlu second border battalion in the eastern province of Hakkari again Aug. 24 after targeting the headquarters and killing one soldier the day before.
The attack came at around 11:30 a.m., with militants targeting the battalion with RPGs, mortars and assault rifles. A clash erupted after soldiers returned fire. An air-backed operation was launched to apprehend the militants who fled the scene.
The PKK is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.