Two soldiers killed in fresh PKK attacks in southeastern Turkey
DİYARBAKIR – Doğan News Agency
Cihan PhotoTwo Turkish soldiers have been killed and two others have been wounded in clashes with outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in the Sur district of the southeastern Diyarbakır province where a round-the-clock curfew has been in place since Dec. 2, 2015.
According to a statement released by the Turkish Armed Forces at 9 a.m. on Feb. 17, the soldier identified as Mehmet Ali Dinç was heavily wounded while two others sustained light wounds in an operation carried out against PKK militants in Sur late Feb. 16.
“The wounded soldiers were promptly transferred to a hospital. However, despite all efforts at the hospital, our heavily wounded comrade-in-arms could not be saved,” the statement said.
The statement read that Sergeant Mehmet Ali Dinç succumbed to his wounds at 11:45 p.m. on Feb. 16. Dinç’s funeral will be held in the eastern province of Malatya after a symbolic ceremony at a military hospital in Diyarbakır.
Fresh clashes that erupted during military operations against militants from the outlawed group in Sur on Feb. 17 have killed another soldier in the district, which has been under military curfew for more than two months.
The general staff said in a written statement that the soldier was wounded in the attack and immediately taken to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries at 12:05 p.m.
One PKK militant was captured dead with their weapons during clashes in the district, it added.
Turkey has recently stepped up efforts to fight militancy in the southeast, specifically with ground operations targeting the PKK. Local governors have imposed curfews in several towns in the country’s east and southeast to remove militants from the area.
“A total of 2,040 ditches and barricades have been removed. Some 2,313 IEDs [improvised explosive devices] have been destroyed; 830 long-barreled weapons – including machine guns, sharpshooters and Kalashnikovs – have been seized; 47 rocket-propelled grenades, 645 rocket projectiles, 1,000 handmade explosives, 431 hand grenades, and 98,650 ammunitions have been seized,” the state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala as saying on Feb. 14 as he published figures about the latest operations targeting the group, hinting that the operations targeting the PKK would continue in southeastern towns.