UPDATE – Soldier martyred, 10 PKK terrorists killed in SE Turkey


By Sinan Uslu, Soner Kilinc, Soner Ovumlu and Ferdi Uzun

ANKARA (AA) – A Turkish soldier was martyred and 10 PKK terrorists were killed in three separate counter-terrorism operations in two southeast Turkish provinces since Wednesday, the Turkish military and an unnamed security source said Thursday.

A Turkish soldier was critically wounded in a clash with PKK terrorists in Sirnak province Thursday and later succumbed to his wounds at a state hospital, a local security source said.

According to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking with the media, the incident took place in the province’s Gazipasa neighborhood.

Also in Sirnak province, six PKK terrorists were killed in clashes Wednesday, which increased the total number of terrorists killed in the area to 813 since operations there began, Turkish General Staff said in a statement posted on its official website Thursday.

Four PKK terrorists were also killed in Mardin province’s Nusaybin district, increasing the number of terrorists killed in the area to 674, the statement said.

During operations in Lice and Kocakoy districts of Diyarbakir province, various weapons and ammunition stores were also seized, it added.

In a separate incident, a Turkish soldier was slightly injured when an explosive device hit a military vehicle in western Manisa province’s Soma district Thursday, an unnamed security source told Anadolu Agency.

He was rushed to the Soma State Hospital for treatment, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking with the media, said, adding that a civilian car also got damaged in the incident.

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 – also seen as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the EU – resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015.

Since then, over 400 security personnel, including troops, police officers and village guards have been martyred and more than 3,700 PKK terrorists killed in operations across Turkey and northern Iraq.

*Anadolu Agency Correspondents Emin Avundukluoglu, Sibel Ugurlu and Ahmet Sait Akcay contributed to this report from Ankara.