DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Three Turkish soldiers and 13 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants were killed on Monday during clashes in Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast, security sources said.
Turkish soldiers were on an operation in the Daglica district of Hakkari province, which borders Iraq, when clashes broke out, leaving three of the soldiers and four militants dead, the sources said. One Turkish soldier was also wounded, they added.
Nine more PKK militants were killed and four were severely wounded in an operation in the Hisar region of Hakkari, security sources said.
The Turkish military said earlier this month that a total of 463 militants had been killed in military operations in the Hakkari province.
An operation is being carried out in the region to root out the militants with aerial and gendarmerie support, the sources said.
Turkey’s southeast has been rocked by violence following the collapse of a 2-1/2-year ceasefire between the state and the PKK in July of last year.
In security operations over the past week, 28 PKK militants were “neutralized”, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.
More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the autonomy-seeking PKK took up arms in 1984. It is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
Writing by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Daren Butler and David Dolan