Upsurge in PKK violence as anniversary nears

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Upsurge in PKK violence as anniversary nears

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Kurds fought with Turkish police on Tuesday in the southeast province of Hakkari. The clashes took place on the eve of the 28th anniversary of the start of the separatists’ struggle.

Protesters hurled stones and petrol bombs at riot police who responded with water cannon and tear gas.

August 15 1984 is regarded as the beginning of the PKK’s armed conflict aimed at securing greater political and cultural rights for Kurds.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in what has turned out to be one of the world’s most protracted armed struggles.

Clashes between the army and the outlawed PKK have increased sharply in recent weeks.

On Monday the group said it was their members who kidnapped a Turkish opposition MP. They warned that a clampdown on their activities by the military is putting his life at risk.

Two Turkish army posts have also been attacked by the PKK in recent days including one on the border with Iraq. Ten soldiers are reported to have died n the incident.

The Turkish government says the upsurge in PKK violence is linked directly to the war in neighbouring Syria.