BEIRUT

Middle East

Turkish military, Kurdish rebels clashes kill 8

Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters walk on the way to their new base in northern Iraq May 14, 2013. (REUTERS/Azad Lashkari)

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey: At least eight people were killed in clashes between the Turkish military and Kurdish rebels on the country's Syrian border, the army said Tuesday, apparently the most serious outbreak of violence since the militants declared a cease-fire last year.

A local official earlier pointed the finger at smugglers, after an armed group crossing the border from Syria into Turkey ignored calls to stop and opened fire on an army outpost.

Three border guards were wounded, two of whom later died, after they came under attack from around 15 people trying to cross into Turkey, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement.

Reinforcements were deployed and at least six "terrorists" from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) or its affiliate, the Syria-based Democratic Union Party (PYD), were believed to have died in the clash, the army said.

There was no immediate word from either the PKK or PYD.

The clash could be a blow to efforts led by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to bring an end to the PKK's insurgency, which has left more than 40,000 people dead over three decades.

Earlier this month Turkish deputies passed a bill giving legal recognition to negotiations for the first time, a move hailed as an important step on the path to peace.

Erdogan is hoping to become Turkey's first directly elected president in polls due on August 10, and may need to rely on votes from parts of the Kurdish community to help him win.

The cease-fire - negotiated with the PKK's imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan - has largely held since it came into force last March.

Tensions in south-eastern Turkey have risen in recent months however, after violent clashes between security forces and Kurds protesting against the building of military outposts in Kurdish areas.

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus
Summary

At least eight people were killed in clashes between the Turkish military and Kurdish rebels on the country's Syrian border, the army said Tuesday, apparently the most serious outbreak of violence since the militants declared a cease-fire last year.

A local official earlier pointed the finger at smugglers, after an armed group crossing the border from Syria into Turkey ignored calls to stop and opened fire on an army outpost.

Three border guards were wounded, two of whom later died, after they came under attack from around 15 people trying to cross into Turkey, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement.


Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here