Continued clashes in Turkey’s southeast between troops and PKK militants claim 23 lives, as Human Rights Watch warns the violence is making Turkey appear increasingly like an unstable country in an already turbulent region. Mana Rabiee reports.
Clashes kill 23 in Turkey’s long-running Kurd conflict
Turkish soldiers in their armored vehicle looking for militants of the outlawed PKK.
For weeks now, security forces have been pounding the pro-Kurdish rebel group in the southeastern town of Cizre, in the most intense violence this region has seen in two decades.
Twenty militants and three soldiers were reported killed in the latest rebel attack … this, as authorities widen a curfew in nearby Diyarbakir, the largest town of this mainly Kurdish region.
Residents of the town’s historic Sur district have been asked to leave their homes as security operations continue.
(SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) RESIDENT OF DIYARBAKIR, NAME WITHHELD, SAYING:
“Look at us. We live like animals. We didn’t even have the chance to get breakfast. This is not working for us.”
Turkey’s conflict with the PKK, or Kurdistan Worker’s Party, goes back to the mid 1980’s and has claimed some 40,000 lives.
The PKK says it’s fighting for an independent Kurdish territory in the region but the government says it’s just as determined not to give it to them.