Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Turkish media: Three PKK fighters killed in protracted gunfight

Sulaimaniyah, June 28 (AKnews) – Three Kurdish rebel fighters were killed in clashes with Turkish forces backed by helicopters, Turkish media sources reported today.

Turkish News Agency, Cihan, said the three Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants were killed in a gunfight that lasted for hours in Tunceli city in Dersim region.

The PKK's media official Roj Wilat confirmed that clashes broke out between PKK and Turkish forces, but did not give details of casualties.

"The military operations and bombardments of the Turkish army in the border territories continue" said Wilat, "the Turkish army continues to attack the PKK guerrillas"

Formerly a peaceful group made up of students, the PKK took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984 to fight for an independent state for the country's Kurds.

Around 45,000 people have died in the war against the Turkish military so far, many of them civilians.

Last week, the PKK set two conditions for the Turkish state in order to extend a ceasefire it had unilaterally declared: inclusion of jailed PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan, in the resolution of the Kurdish Issue, and a public pledge from the country's leaders to end military operations against the outlawed party and commit to peaceful reconciliation.

The PKK has declared 8 unilateral ceasefires over the years in favor of finding peaceful means to resolve the issue,  but the Turkish state - which along with the US and the EU lists the organization as a "terrorist group - has officially refused to enter into negotiations with them.

By Raber Y. Aziz, with contributions from Dilshad Saifaddin.

28/06/2011 21:47