42 killed in clashes, including 12 Turkish security forces
Terrorists from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) killed eight Turkish police officers on Sunday and four Turkish soldiers on Saturday after the Turkish military launched a major offensive against PKK terrorists on Thursday, Zaman reported.
Militants from the terrorist group killed four Turkish soldiers and wounded five more in an attack on a military convoy on Saturday near the border with Iran and Iraq, a Turkish regional authority said.
The past few months have seen some of the heaviest fighting since the PKK - considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the EU - took up arms in 1984 with the aim of carving out a Kurdish state.
The governor's office in the southeastern province of Hakkari said PKK terrorists had used remote-controlled bombs to attack the convoy in Hakkari's Cukurca district.
In a separate development, eight Turkish police officers were killed in a bomb attack in the eastern province of Bingol on Sunday morning. A roadside mine was detonated by PKK terrorists when a police service bus with officers on board was passing through the Karlıova district.
Turkish armed forces have killed 123 terrorists over the past 10 days in a major offensive involving several thousand ground troops and air strikes on PKK bases, some of them across the border in northern Iraq, the Hakkari governor's office said in a statement on Sunday. It said at least 28 terrorists have been killed since Saturday night.
The Agrı Governor's Office also said in a written statement on Sunday that gendarmerie teams had killed two terrorists in a clash in the Diyadin district of the province.
The conflict has killed more than 40,000 people, hampered economic development in one of Turkey's poorest corners, and added to instability in an already fragile region bordering Iran, Iraq and Syria.
More than 700 people have been killed since parliamentary elections in June last year, making this the deadliest period since the capture of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in 1999, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said in a report this month.