Kurdish Militants Kill Three Turkish Security Force Members

A Kurdish member of the Self-Defense Forces stands near the Syrian-Turkish border in the Syrian city of Al Derbasiyah. Turkey claimed on Tuesday that three of its security forces personnel were killed by Kurdish militants. REUTERS/Rodi Said

ISTANBUL, Feb 10 – Kurdish militants killed two Turkish soldiers and one police officer, Turkey’s military and state-run media said on Wednesday, with the rebels in one incident trying to cross the border into Turkey from neighboring Syria.

In Sirnak province’s Cizre district, security forces spotted seven Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters entering Turkey from Syria on Tuesday evening and as they clashed one soldier was killed and one wounded, the Turkish armed forces said.

Another Turkish soldier was shot dead on Tuesday by PKK militants in the Sur district, under curfew since early December, of mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey’s largest city Diyarbakir, the armed forces added in a statement.

Turkish security forces have been trying to clear southeastern towns and cities of PKK militants since last July, when a two-year ceasefire collapsed, shattering a peace process and triggering the worst violence in two decades.

Separately, one police officer was killed and one wounded when PKK rebels launched a rocket attack on an armored vehicle in the town of Sirnak, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Wednesday. It was not clear when the attack occurred.

The PKK, which says it is fighting for autonomy for Turkey’s large ethnic Kurdish minority, is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. The 31-year-old conflict has cost more than 40,000 lives.

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