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Five police killed by Kurdish militants in Turkey’s southeast

map_of_turkeyFive Turkish police officers were killed in two bomb attacks by Kurdish militants in the country’s southeast overnight, Turkish security sources said Wednesday.

Three officers were killed and a fourth was seriously injured in an attack on a police vehicule travelling in the town of Nusaybin, near the Syrian border, a senior security official told AFP.

A further two officers were killed and two were injured in a similar attack in the remote southeastern Hakkari province, on the border with Iraq, the official, who blamed the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), said.

Dozens of soldiers and police have been killed in PKK attacks since a two-year ceasefire between the government and rebels broke down in July, when the army launched a major “anti-terror” operation against PKK strongholds in northern Iraq and southeast Turkey.

The state-run press agency Anatolia said Sunday that 118 police and soldiers had been killed and 1,192 “terrorists” killed since the fighting resumed.

The rebels does not give figures for their dead.

Some 40,000 people have died since the PKK took up arms in 1984 with the aim of establishing an independent state for Turkey’s Kurdish minority.

The militants’ demands have since shifted to gaining greater autonomy for Kurds and broader cultural rights.

The resurgence in violence, which comes ahead of snap parliamentary elections on November 1, has reversed years of fitful progress towards a lasting peace.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) accuses President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of fomenting the escalation to boost the ruling Justice and Development Party’s standing among nationalists in the election — accusations the government denies.



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