PKK claims killed Turkish soldier in Diyarbakır, governor denies

PKK claims killed Turkish soldier in Diyarbakır, governor denies

The People's Defense Forces (HPG), an armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), has said that it killed a Turkish soldier in an attack on a gendarmerie outpost in Diyarbakir province in retaliation for the death of a Kurdish man recently killed during clashes with Turkish police in the same province, with the governor denying the claim Today`s Zaman reported.

One person died and nine others were wounded on Friday when clashes broke out between security forces and protesters opposing the construction of a new gendarmerie outpost in the village of Kayacik in Diyarbakir's Lice district. The outpost would be a high-security one, called a "kalekol" in Turkish, which locals say has been associated with the torture of area residents for many years. There were also claims by wounded protesters that they were shot from behind by gendarmerie officials. Shortly after the event, a special sergeant was abducted and later released, with authorities blaming the PKK.

The HPG reportedly said in a statement that it killed a Turkish soldier on July 3 in Diyarbakir's Hani district in an attack on the Hegasor outpost. The Turkish General Staff has not released any statement concerning such an incident, but Diyarbakir Governor Cahit Kirac denied the HPG's claim.

"The allegation that an attack has been staged on an outpost and a soldier has been killed is a lie," Kirac said in comments on the issue.

The incident in Lice marked the most violent clash in the region since a cease-fire declaration by the imprisoned leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, in March that led to a virtual standstill in the conflict between the PKK and the Turkish state.

Turkish authorities and Ocalan have held a series of talks to end the decades-old Kurdish conflict, which has resulted in the deaths of at least 40,000 people. At least five groups of deputies from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) have visited İmrali Island, off the İstanbul coast, where Ocalan is imprisoned, trying to work out the details of the settlement.

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