Turkey kills 27 Kurdish militants as southeast violence escalates: military

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkey’s military killed 27 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in the largely Kurdish southeast on Friday, the armed forces said in a statement, in a day of violence in which at least seven security force members were also killed.

Turkey’s southeast has been scorched by waves of fighting following the collapse last year of a 2-1/2-year ceasefire between state and the outlawed PKK.

The military said it killed 27 militants and wounded 30 more in air strikes and land operations in Hakkari, a predominantly Kurdish are of the country, where the autonomy-seeking PKK has waged its three-decade insurgency.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim earlier said the group had squandered the chance for a political peace process, after it launched a series of bomb attacks following the collapse of the ceasefire in July 2015.

A total of seven security personnel were killed in clashes in the southeastern provinces of Hakkari, Van, and Mardin, security sources told Reuters.

Separately, a blast from a roadside bomb hit a passing military vehicle near the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, security sources said, blaming the PKK.

At least one soldier was wounded, Dogan news agency reported.

Reporting by Can Sezer, Ece Toksabay and Humeyra Pamuk; Writing by Edmund Blair and David Dolan