Kurdish militant group PKK ends ceasefire with Turkey

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Kurdish militants from the outlawed PKK group said they are ending a unilateral ceasefire they declared after Turkey was hit by a major earthquake earlier this year.

The announcement, carried by pro-Kurdish media on Tuesday, threatens to see a return of violence that has claimed tens of thousands of lives since the PKK launched its fight for an autonomous state in Turkey’s southeast in 1984.

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was re-elected for another five years last month, has intensified operations against the militant group and its offshoots in both Iraq and Syria.

A Kurdish militant umbrella organization that also includes the PKK said it was responding to Turkey’s renewed operations.

“The need for active struggle has become inevitable,” the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) said in a statement quoted by the pro-Kurdish Firat news agency.

“We declare that we have called off the unilateral ceasefire as of today,” it said.

The February earthquake, which has claimed more than 50,000 lives, hit a region near where some of the heaviest fighting between Turkish government forces and the PKK took place.

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