.
.
.
.

Hundreds protest against Turkey’s anti-PKK offensive

The number of Kurdish rebels killed during a huge Turkish military offensive in the country’s restive southeast has jumped to 102

Published: Updated:

Turkish police fired tear gas to disperse several hundred protesters in Istanbul’s main Taksim square demonstrating against security operations and curfews in the southeast, Reuters witnesses said on Sunday.

Dozens of riot police with protective gear chased protesters into side streets, pushing pedestrians aside as shoppers and tourists on the busy street watched. At least two protesters were detained and shops began closing shutters.

Earlier, a security source told AFP Sunday that the number of Kurdish rebels killed during a huge Turkish military offensive in the country’s restive southeast has jumped to 102 as the operation entered its fifth day.

At least two soldiers and five civilians have also been killed in the clashes, the source said.

An earlier toll released on Saturday put the figure at 70 dead, with the army saying all of them were suspected members of the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Some 10,000 troops backed by tanks have been deployed in the southeast to try to rout young PKK supporters from urban areas, according to local media.

The operation, which has targeted the towns of Cizre and Silopi in Sirnak province as well as a neighborhood in Diyarbakir, the largest city in the region, began on Wednesday, according to the army.

On Friday, the military also carried out air strikes on PKK “hideouts” and “weapons sites” across the border in northern Iraq, where the outlawed group has its rear bases.

(With Reuters, AFP)