Turkish Forces Kill 114 Militants


Ankara: Turkish authorities said security forces killed 114 militants in the mainly Kurdish town of Idil during three weeks of operations that ended on Tuesday.

Two police officers were killed in Idil earlier in the day when an explosive placed on the road detonated under their vehicle, security sources said separately. Three police and three soldiers were also wounded in the blast.

Turkish security forces have launched operations in towns and cities across the predominantly Kurdish southeast to root out Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants, who have declared autonomy and built ditches and barricades in residential areas.

The fighting follows the July collapse of a 2 1/2-year ceasefire with the PKK, which had been lauded as the best chance to end the three-decade insurgency.

It was not immediately possible to verify whether any civilians were killed in the latest operation. The opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said on Friday three civilians had been killed in Idil since a curfew was imposed last month.

Authorities imposed the round-the-clock curfew in Idil, a town of 73,000 people situated some 25 km (15 miles) north of the Syrian border, on Feb. 16. Officials said the curfew remained in effect.

A curfew in the historic district of Sur, a UNESCO-listed area in the region’s largest city, Diyarbakir, is also still in place after almost 100 days of clashes.