6 Turkish soldiers killed, dozens wounded in fighting in south-east

Six Turkish soldiers were killed in blasts and fighting in the south-east of the country, the military said Tuesday, amid signs that the violence in the region could intensify.

The military pointed the finger at the armed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which the state sees as a terrorist group.

Fighting has increased in Turkey's mainly Kurdish south-east since a ceasefire broke down in July between the government and the PKK after peace talks stalled.

Security forces have since stepped up operations to flush out militants.

Two soldiers were killed and 47 people, of whom 39 were soldiers, were injured in an explosion overnight on a gendarme headquarters in Hani district in the province of Diyarbakir.

Dogan news agency reported it was a car bombing.

One soldier was killed and four injured in the district of Yuksekova, Hakkari province - which the military has been intensely shelling in recent days, according to reports on social media by Kurdish activists.

In Sirnak province, which has witnessed some of the worst fighting in recent months between the military and Kurdish militants, one soldier was killed and three were injured.

Meanwhile, Dogan reported that two soldiers were killed in what was described as a PKK ambush, in the province of Mardin. The incident took place in Nusaybin district which has been under a strict curfew for a month.

Rights groups have been critical of Turkey's use of round-the-clock curfews.

Turkish officials have indicated that no negotiation process will be restarted with the PKK, which is demanding greater autonomy for the Kurdish minority.

Hundreds of people, including civilians, have died in the fighting, which has also caused widespread destruction to property.

Analysts have cautioned that fighting could worsen as winter ends, allowing more free movement of fighters in the area.

Last update: Tue, 12/04/2016 - 19:40
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