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Intense Clashes Erupt Between Turkish Army, Kurdish Fighters in Diyarbakir

Sputnik News

13:30 06.02.2016(updated 13:36 06.02.2016)

Intense clashes involving machine guns and artillery is ongoing in the center of the Turkish city of Diyarbakir, which has witnessed clashes between the army and Kurdish fighters, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported Saturday.

DIYARBAKIR (Sputnik) – The central Sur district of Diyarbakir, which houses historic monuments dating back to 400 BC, has been rocked by fighting between Kurdish fighters and the Turkish armed forces in recent months.

The district was cordoned off by the military firing alongside Kurdish militants, the correspondent reported. Several ambulance crews have arrived at the scene to pick up the wounded.

Earlier, the city mayor told RIA Novosti that out of the 70,000 Sur residents, 50,000 had left their homes.

In December, the Turkish authorities declared a curfew in a number of southeastern regions where armed clashes between Ankara forces and PKK fighters continue.

Tensions in Turkey escalated in July 2015, after 33 Kurdish activists were killed in a suicide blast in the city of Suruc and two Turkish policemen were later murdered by the PKK, which led to Ankara's military campaign against the group.

The Kurds, Turkey's largest ethnic minority, are striving to create their own independent state. The PKK was founded in late 1970s to promote the self-determination for the Kurdish community.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in his New Year's statement that Turkish security forces killed 3,100 PKK militants in 2015.


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