Middle East

PKK bombing, clashes kill eight in Turkey, curfew declared in Diyarbakir city

Kurdish militants on Sunday killed two police officers when they bombed a checkpoint in Sirnak in southeast Turkey and a curfew was imposed in central Diyarbakir, the region's largest city, after clashes there, security sources and officials said.
The carbomb at a police checkpoint in Sirnak province also wounded five other officers and was followed by clashes nearby in which Turkish security forces killed five Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters.
More than 100 police and soldiers have been killed, along with hundreds of militants, since a ceasefire collapsed in July, shattering a peace process launched in 2012. It is the worst violence Turkey has seen in two decades.
In Diyarbakir, the historic Sur district was put under curfew and seven police officers were wounded in clashes with militants there, the governor's office said.
The PKK also launched an attack on Sunday with rocket-propelled grenades and rifles in the Silvan district of Diyarbakir province, killing one police officer and wounding another, one security source told Reuters. Locals officials said they subsequently declared a curfew in the area.
In Sirnak, troops shelled a mountainous area to which PKK militants had fled, the sources said. The operation was supported by Cobra attack helicopters and Sikorsky helicopters which landed commandos in the area. Five PKK fighters were killed.
A week-long curfew in the town of Cizre, near the borders with Syria and Iraq, was lifted on Friday. A pro-Kurdish party has said 21 civilians were killed during clashes in the town. The government said one civilian and 32 militants died.
The PKK began its separatist insurgency in 1984 and more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict. It is designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.
President Tayyip Erdogan has promised the fight will go on until "not one terrorist is left". The conflict has flared up as Turkey prepares for a snap parliamentary election on Nov. 1 after a June vote was inconclusive.
(This story has been refiled to correct to show Sur in para 4 is a district, not a province)
(Reporting by Seyhmus Cakan; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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