PKK fighters. AFP file photo
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) says 75 Turkish soldiers have been killed in the past two days as intense clashes continue in the Sirnak area some 250 kilometers southwest of Diyarbakir.
A statement on Saturday by the PKK’s military wing, the HPG, said 14 guerrillas were also among the dead after Turkish airstrikes targeted PKK bases near the Iraqi border. Four civilians were also killed, according to the statement.
The Turkish army announced on Saturday the total number of casualties since clashes began in July, and put the death toll for the PKK at 1,337. It said 129 Turkish soldiers and police officers had also been killed in the fighting. According to the statement, 30 civilians, including one Iranian, were also killed.
A two-year ceasefire was effectively broken in July this year after PKK guerrillas assassinated two policemen in Diyarbakir, who they saw as the masterminds behind a bombing in Suruc earlier that killed 32 pro-Kurdish activists.
Clashes continue as the country prepares to hold general elections in November following an inconclusive poll in June, after which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) failed to muster the seats to form a new government in 45 days.