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Turkish forces kill 25 Kurdish militants


Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan

TURKISH security forces have killed 25 Kurdish militants as they battle suspected members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in two flashpoint towns, security sources said on Thursday.

Twenty-four PKK members were killed in Cizre since the operations began earlier this week, while one was killed in Silopi, security sources told AFP, increasing an earlier toll.

The authorities had already announced on Wednesday that eight PKK fighters had been killed in Cizre.

According to Turkish media, some 10,000 members of the police and army had been deployed in Cizre and Silopi in one of the biggest operations yet against the PKK, who have erected barricades and dug trenches inside the towns.

Cizre has a population of some 100,000, and Silopi more than 80,000. Images have shown de-facto urban warfare taking place, with the army clashing with militants in the otherwise deserted streets.

The army said in a statement that six members of the security forces had received non-life threatening wounds in Cizre while two had also been hurt in Silopi.

Although analysts have called for peace talks, the authorities led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have said Ankara must eradicate the PKK which in recent months had again built up a significant presence in urban centres.

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