News ID: 134733
Published: 0641 GMT January 10, 2016

Turkey-PKK conflict has claimed “162 civilian lives” since Aug.

Turkey-PKK conflict has claimed “162 civilian lives” since Aug.

A Turkish human rights group said as many as 162 civilians have died since August, caught up in the increased fighting between government forces and Kurdish militants in urban districts.

The Turkish Human Rights Foundation said late Saturday that 32 children, 29 women and 24 elderly people were among civilians killed in districts where authorities have imposed 24-hour curfews as they battle militants linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, AP reported.

The security forces have launched large-scale operations in areas where the militants have mounted barricades, dug trenches and set up explosives to keep authorities away. Turkish authorities say 426 militants have died in ongoing operations in the towns of Cizre and Silopi and Diyarbakir's Sur neighborhood.

The conflict against the PKK resumed in July, shattering a two-year-old peace process.

Turkish Army said on Sunday security forces killed 32 Kurdish militants in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast this weekend, Reuters reported.

It was one of the bloodiest weekends since the three-decades-old militancy resumed last July.

On Saturday, 16 militants were killed in the towns of Cizre and Silopi, near the Syrian and Iraqi borders, and another four were killed in the historic Sur district of the region's largest city, Diyarbakir, the armed forces said in a statement.

It said that a total of 448 militants had been killed in those three areas since they were placed under round-the-clock curfew and security operations were launched last month.

Police killed a further 12 PKK members after finding them in a house in the southeastern city of Van overnight, security sources said. One police officer died and two others were wounded in the operation.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the PKK launched its militancy in 1984.

A recent shift in fighting from the countryside to urban centers has left civilians caught in the middle.


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