Five dead in PKK attacks in Turkey

The police officers were killed and another was wounded when they came under fire

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Three Turkish policemen, a civilian and a soldier have been killed in new attacks in the restive southeast blamed on fighters from the rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), security sources said Wednesday.

The police officers were killed and another was wounded late Tuesday when they came under fire from rockets and automatic rifles while patrolling the largely Kurdish town of Silopi near the Syrian border, the sources told AFP.

In the flashpoint town of Silvan, which has been under a strict curfew for nine days, one soldier was killed and another wounded in fierce street fighting with the youth wing of the outlawed PKK on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, rebels detonated a car bomb on a road in Dargecit in Mardin province as a police convoy was passing, killing a municipal employee and wounding a police officer, Dogan news agency said.

Southeast Turkey has been rocked by a new wave of unrest that has left several hundred people dead since a two-year-old truce between Ankara and the PKK fell apart in July.

Last Thursday, the PKK ended a unilateral truce it had declared before the November 1 election, which saw President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) win back a parliamentary majority.

Erdogan subsequently vowed to continue the fight against the PKK until all its fighters are “wiped out.”

After the election, Turkish war planes pounded PKK targets in the country’s southeast and in northern Iraq.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed since the PKK took up arms in 1984 demanding an independent state for Kurds. Since then the group has narrowed its demands to greater autonomy and cultural rights.