62 rebels killed in Turkey

Ankara, Dec 18 (IANS) At least 62 members of the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) were killed in southeastern Turkey, the Turkish military said on Friday.

The Turkish security forces launched the anti-terror operations in Silopi and Cizre towns of Sirnak province in the past three days, killing 56 PKK militants in Silopi and six others in Cizre, said the statement, Xinhua reported citng the Turkish military statement.

On Tuesday, a group of PKK members staged a bomb attack against a Turkish police armoured vehicle on Diyarbakir-Silvan highway in Silvan town of Diyarbakir province in southeastern Turkey. Three of the five policemen wounded later died in hospital, private Dogan news agency reported.

The PKK negotiated a cease-fire with Ankara in 2013, but the truce fell apart in the wake of a suicide bomb attack in the border town of Suruc in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa on July 20, in which 33 pro-Kurdish and left-wing activists were killed.

Tensions have been running high, especially in southeastern Turkey, as major military operations against PKK militants have been under way since July after the truce failed.

The PKK was listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.

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