Turkey kills another 24 Kurdish militants

  • 26/03/2016
Children in Sur district, Diyarbakir, following recent conflict (Reuters)
Children in Sur district, Diyarbakir, following recent conflict (Reuters)

Turkish warplanes have struck Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in northern Iraq and killed 24 PKK fighters in southeast Turkey, the army says, as the militants launched a car bomb attack on a military installation.

Thursday night's bombing killed three security force members and wounded 24 at a security outpost near the southeast's largest city of Diyarbakir, the military said in a separate statement on Friday, confirming a report from security sources.

A Reuters witness said the installation suffered severe damage in the blast on the highway between Diyarbakir and the town of Lice. Security forces imposed tight security in the area and erected screens to conceal the site.

The PKK claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on one of its websites, saying 28 soldiers were killed and 32 wounded in the attack. The figures could not be verified.

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday 300 members of the security forces had been killed since the conflict flared up last year, triggering the heaviest clashes since the 1990s, with PKK losses at least 10 times as high.

A round-the-clock curfew was declared in areas of the Silvan district of Diyarbakir province on Friday, the local governor's office said. Such curfews have been imposed in the past to pave the way for operations against PKK militants.

In the latest in a series of air strikes in northern Iraq, Turkish F-16 and F-4 jets destroyed PKK ammunition depots and shelters in the Avasin and Basyan areas on Thursday afternoon, the military said.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the PKK launched its insurgency in 1984. The PKK, which says it is fighting for Kurdish autonomy, is designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union.