August 9, 2016 / 8:41 PM / 3 years ago

Militants kill two soldiers in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Kurdish militants killed two soldiers and wounded two others in a firefight on Tuesday in Turkey’s strife-ridden southeast, security sources said.

Members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) opened fire on the soldiers in the countryside outside the town of Kulp in Diyarbakir province, they said. Reinforcements had been deployed to the area to pursue a group of guerrillas.

The Diyarbakir governorate earlier in the day declared round-the-clock curfews in 13 villages near Kulp and two other towns in the mainly Kurdish province.

Security forces use the curfews to stage operations to root out fighters from the PKK, listed as terrorists by Turkey, the United States and European Union, since July 2015, when a ceasefire collapsed and a three-decade conflict reignited.

Thousands of militants and hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed since. Rights groups have said about 400 civilians have also died. The death toll from the start of the insurgency in 1984 stands at more than 40,000.

Reporting by Seyhmus Cakan; writing by Ayla Jean Yackley; editing by Mark Heinrich

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