PKK attacks in Turkey leave 15 dead

PKK attacks in Turkey leave 15 dead
# 06 July 2010 21:01 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Twelve militants and three Turkish soldiers have been killed after Kurdish militants attacked a military base in the east and southeast of Turkey, security sources say, APA reports quoting website.

The clashes broke out overnight on Monday, when Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants opened fire on a military post in Hakkari Province near the borders with Iran and Iraq, AFP reported.

The Turkish army issued a statement on its website, announcing that fifteen people were killed -- including three soldiers and 12 militants -- while three other soldiers were wounded.

Turkish military helicopters have been searching for the remaining fighters, security sources reported.

In a separate incident late Monday, six soldiers were lightly wounded and one militant was killed when PKK militants opened fire on troops that were on patrol in the eastern province of Elazig.

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party, listed as a terrorist group by Ankara and much of the international community, is blamed for the loss of some 45,000 lives in its decades-long armed struggle for an ethnic homeland in Turkey’s Kurdish majority southeast.

PKK militants launch their attacks from the Qandil Mountains in the areas under the control of Iraqi Kurdistan’s President Massoud Barzani. The Qandil mountain range is also where Israel and Israeli firms operate.

The group, which says it is fighting for independence in southern Turkey, has recently stepped up its attacks against Turkish military personnel and civilians.

Some observers maintain that Israeli intelligence services have been training PKK members to launch their attacks inside Turkey.

The observers say Tel Aviv is seeking to pressure Ankara in light of the recent Israeli attack on the Gaza aid flotilla, which left nine Turkish activists dead.
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