Suspected teenage girls among killed PKK militants: report
A soldier patrols the area around Geçimli outpost after the attack on Aug 4. AA photoThree of the 14 Kurdish militants killed in clashes on the night of Aug. 4 in the eastern province of Hakkari are suspected to have been 16- or 17-year-old girls, daily Radikal reported on its website today.
Militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) had attacked a military outpost in Geçimli village in Hakkari on Aug. 4, killing eight Turkish security personnel and wounding 15 soldiers and six civilians.
After the bodies of the PKK militants were collected after the clashes ended on Aug. 5, officials noticed three young women among the dead. The three militants were only armed with hand grenades.
The ages of the young women was not immediately known because they lacked any identification, but preliminary examinations during autopsies showed that they were as young as 16 or 17 years of age, the report said.
The PKK allegedly used young militants to infiltrate an outpost in at least one previous attack, Radikal said. These militants, armed solely with hand grenades, would sneak into outposts during the heat of the battle and lob grenades at soldiers preoccupied with returning fire coming from the outside.
Turkish intelligence reportedly learned that the PKK was preparing to attack the Geçimli outpost, and the soldiers' sleeping quarters were evacuated as a precaution prior to the Aug. 4 attack in the event the PKK employed the same tactic.
The PKK, recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, has previously rejected claims that it is using child militants.