Two Turkish police officers killed in southeastern Turkey

Two Turkish police officers killed in southeastern Turkey

Two Turkish police officers killed in southeastern Turkey

AA Photo

Two police officers have been killed in two southeastern provinces during operations targeting outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants. 

Police officer Erol Aktürk, 43, was killed and five others were injured during a counter-terrorism operation targeting PKK militants in the southeastern province of Şırnak late Dec. 31, 2015.

Security forces were conducting operations to fill in ditches and dissemble barricades in the Cizre district, which is under curfew, security sources said.

Police officers were hit by a rocket shot by militants during the operation, the sources added.

Four wounded police officers will be sent to hospitals in Ankara, according to Health Ministry official Eyüp Gümüş, while the other wounded officer is being treated in the province.

On Jan. 1, police officer Kenan Ardıç, 28, succumbed to injuries he sustained in a bomb attack by the PKK in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır’s Sur district, which has been under military curfew since Dec. 2, 2015.

PKK militants detonated an improvised explosive device in Sur on Dec. 30, wounding three soldiers. 

All injured soldiers were taken to the Dicle University Medical Faculty Hospital. The other two soldiers are still receiving treatment in the hospital.

Meanwhile, a number of weapons reportedly belonging to the PKK were seized when security forces raided a home in the Ziya Gökalp neighborhood of Sur. 

A rocket-propelled grenade, three rockets for shoulder-fired missiles, an anti-tank missile, 30 electric detonators and numerous leaflets that security forces say aimed to “provoke the public” were seized in the operation.

A total of 228 PKK militants have been killed in counter-terrorism operations in southeastern Turkey since Dec. 15, 2015, the Turkish General Staff has claimed.

According to a statement on Turkish Armed Forces’ official website, most of the casualties have occurred in Şirnak’s districts of Cizre and Silopi, and Diyarbakır’s district of Sur where operations are continuing amid curfew.

On Dec. 31, 2015, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said there would be no let-up in the military campaign that he alleged had killed more than 3,000 militants this year in some of the heaviest fighting since clashes first began three decades ago.