World News

Turkey declares curfew in southeast in fight against Kurdish militants

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkey declared a round-the-clock curfew in rural areas near the city of Diyarbakir in southeast Turkey on Saturday, ahead of a planned military operation targeting Kurdish militants, the provincial governor’s office said.

The move came a day after Turkish security forces called an end to operations targeting Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters in the town of Nusaybin near the Syrian border and in Sirnak near the border with Iraq.

More than 1,000 people, mostly PKK fighters, have been killed in three months of clashes in those areas, security sources say. The fighting resumed in the largely Kurdish southeast last July after the collapse of a two-year-old ceasefire.

The latest curfew was declared at 10:30 am (0730 GMT) in 10 areas of Lice, in Diyarbakir province, where PKK militants including senior operatives were believed to be active, the statement said.

The PKK, designated a terrorist group by Turkey and its Western allies, launched its insurgency in 1984 and more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict, now at its most intense level in two decades.

Reporting by Seyhmus Cakan; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Hugh Lawson