News ID: 123594
Published: 0547 GMT July 31, 2015

Five dead in fresh Turkey clashes

Five dead in fresh Turkey clashes

Kurdish rebels raided a Turkish police station and fired on railway workers in two separate attacks that left five dead, officials said Friday, amid renewed conflict between the security forces and rebels that has wrecked a fragile peace process.

Violence has sharply increased in Turkey in the past week, with the government launching aerial strikes against Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, bases in northern Iraq, and the rebels escalating attacks against Turkey's security forces, AP reported.

Some 20 people, most of them soldiers, have died in the renewed violence.

PKK rebels raided the police station in the town of Pozanti, in southern Adana province, late on Thursday, killing two policemen and touching off a gunfight that also killed two rebels, said Gov. Mustafa Buyuk, adding the rebels were armed with automatic rifles and hand grenades.

In the eastern province of Kars, the rebels detonated a bomb they placed on rail tracks and later fired on rail workers who were sent to repair the line, the region's deputy governor, Adem Unal, told the state-run Anadolu Agency. One of the workers was killed.

Turkey last week conducted air assaults on ISIL terrorist group targets and also opened its air bases for sorties by the US-led coalition fighting the group. The decision came after a bombing blamed on ISIL killed 32 people and terrorists fired on Turkish troops, killing a soldier.

But Turkey shifted focus to the PKK following an attack claimed by the rebels that killed two policemen.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey's onslaught against the PKK will continue until its rebels lay down arms, despite calls from Turkey's main pro-Kurdish political party for the resumption of peace efforts.

On Thursday, Davutoglu vowed renewed strikes against ISIL terrorists if the group attacks Turkish targets again.

The Kurdish party's co-chairman renewed his plea for peace on Friday, as Turkey began holding funerals for the two officers killed in the police station attack and three soldiers who were slain in southeast Turkey on Thursday.

"The dialogue — slow as it was — must resume," Selahattin Demirtas said in televised comments. "Fingers must be removed from the trigger."


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