World News

Two days of clashes in southeast Turkey kill 9 militants, 1 soldier

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - At least 10 people were killed in two days of fighting between security forces and Kurdish militants in Turkey’s southeast, the military said on Monday.

Hundreds of soldiers, police officers and militants have been killed since fighting between the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and security forces re-ignited in July, and the conflict is at its deadliest in two decades.

Nine PKK members were killed on Sunday in the towns of Nusaybin and Sirnak, the military General Staff said on its website.

On Monday, a soldier was killed in clashes in Nusaybin, located at the Syrian border and under a round-the-clock curfew since mid-March, the army said. Fighting continued in both Nusaybin and Sirnak throughout the day, a security source said.

The violence wrecked a peace process that was seen as the best chance to solve the PKK’s three-decade armed campaign that has claimed more than 40,000 lives. President Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to continue security operations until the PKK surrenders.

The PKK is classified as a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.

European officials have criticized the length of the absolute curfews and the severity of security operations, but the European Court of Human Rights this year dismissed a request for an injunction to lift the curfews.

Reporting by Seyhmus Cakan and Ayla Jean Yackley; Editing by Robin Pomeroy