Four security forces, 19 PKK militants killed in Turkey's south-east

A roadside bomb in south-eastern Turkey left three police officers dead while authorities said 18 members of the armed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) were killed in clashes, the Dogan news agency reported Monday.

On top of the blast and fighting in Sirnak province, a soldier and an alleged PKK member were reported killed in Diyarbakir province. One civilian was also killed in Sirnak according to Kurdish sources.

The deaths come amid intense military operations ongoing in the area since last month.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP) in Turkey reported 82 civilians have been killed in the past 35 days in Sirnak province alone. The military says the offensive has left around 470 PKK militants dead in two districts of the province.

Hundreds more people - including civilians, security forces and militants - have died in fighting since a ceasefire between the state and the Kurdish militants broke down in July last year.

The military operations are accompanied by strict round-the-clock curfews - sometimes lifted only briefly to allow civilians to restock on basic supplies.

Human rights groups have been critical of the government's handling of the situation, citing civilian deaths, widespread displacement and hardships on the population, including restricted access to medical care. 

Last update: Mon, 18/01/2016 - 13:41


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