UPDATE 2 – Four Turkish soldiers martyred in southeast Turkey


By Hatice Ozdemir, Soner Kilinc, Sarp Ozer and Seyit Ahmet Aytac

MARDIN, Turkey (AA) – Four Turkish soldiers were martyred and six PKK terrorists were killed in separate clashes in two southeastern provinces since Saturday, Turkish military and security sources said Sunday.

In the first incident, three soldiers were martyred and 14 others were injured during an armed attack by “separatist terrorist organization members” in Mardin province’s Nusaybin district Sunday, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement.

The army said the injured soldiers were rushed to hospital. In the statement, the military also conveyed its condolences to the families of their martyred soldiers and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded.

Nusaybin, which is on the Syrian border, has been the focus of counter-terrorism operations since March 14.

On Saturday, Turkey’s military said a soldier was martyred in Nusaybin, adding that several terrorists in the southeast region were also killed Friday.

Separately, a Turkish soldier was also killed in southeastern Sirnak province Sunday, an unnamed Turkish security source said.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity with Anadolu Agency due to restrictions on speaking with the media.

In a separate statement Sunday, Turkish General Staff said security forces killed at least six PKK terrorists in Sirnak Saturday, bringing the total number of terrorists killed there since operations began to 281.

Another PKK terrorist also surrendered in the province, the statement added. Several weapons were seized during the operations.

Turkey’s southeast has been the scene of significant military operations since late 2015, as the police and army seek to clear PKK terrorists from urban areas.

The PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU – resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July. Since then more than 400 members of the security forces have been martyred and more than 3,700 PKK terrorists killed.

*Anadolu Agency Correspondents Diyar Guldogan, Hatice Kesgin and Sibel Ugurlu contributed to this report.