Four soldiers killed, dozens injured in south-east Turkey fighting

Four Turkish soldiers were killed in explosions and fighting in the south east of the country, the military said on Tuesday, as signs emerge that violence could worsen in the region.

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

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 Diyarbakir province.

The explosion was caused by a car bomb, Dogan news agency reported, the latest of several in the region.

In Yuksekova distict of Hakkari province - where the military has been intensely shelling in recent days according to reports on social media by Kurdish activists - one soldier was killed and four injured.

Separately, in the hard-hit Sirnak province, where some of the worst fighting in recent months has taken place between state forces and Kurdish militants, one soldier was killed and three were injured.

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

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

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 - 18:59
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