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Fighting intensifies in southeastern Turkey


Turkey

Fighting intensifies in southeastern Turkey

Hundreds of mourners have marched through streets of the Turkish city of Diyarbakir to reach the city centre with the coffins of two PKK militants killed earlier this week.

Police fired tear gas and water cannon as violence broke out. It erupted after an earlier incident in which security forces said three Kurdish rebels were killed when the rebels launched an attack on them.

Four towns in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast have remained under curfew since Turkey launched an offensive against the militants 10 days ago. Cizre is one of them.

People sat in the winter sunshine as Turkish security forces pounded PKK positions in the town. The security forces campaign and curfew has hit everyday life in the town.

“I am walking around with these eggs because people are poor. There is no water, no telephones. Transportation is cut off. Roads are closed. What is happening? They are using barbarous violence against Kurdish people. It is enough. How long will it go on?” said street seller Ibrahim Arpacik.

The PKK have changed their tactics moving from their traditional bases in the countryside into the towns and cities. Figures of the number of casualties are difficult to confirm. The pro-Kurdish Democratic Party says at least 31 civilians have been killed in the fighting. State media put the number of PKK dead at 168.

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