Four soldiers were dead in southeastern Hakkari province while two more were killed in Mardin as a result of two terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attacks taking place early on Friday.
Handmade explosives were detonated by PKK terrorists around 7.15 a.m. on Hakkari-Çukurca highway, killing four members of the Turkish security forces.
Two more soldiers – a noncommissioned officer and a specialized sergeant — were killed in Mardin’s Derik district around 6.30 a.m., when PKK terrorists opened fire on Turkish security forces while they were conducting a legal search in the Bakırköy neighborhood.
Turkish General Staff released a statement on Friday, informing the public about the slain soldiers in the two provinces. The statement wished “God’s mercy upon the fallen soldiers,” and conveyed condolences to their families and friends, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and Turkish nation.
The PKK is designated as a “terrorist organization” by the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), as well as Turkey. There have been repeated clashes between security forces and PKK members since a cease-fire between the government and the PKK’s jailed leader, Abdullah Öcalan, collapsed in July of last year.
Since the settlement process launched by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government in 2012 with the PKK to end the country’s long-standing Kurdish problem ended in July, nearly 200,000 locals in the Southeast have been forced to leave their homes due to fighting and curfews.
The authorities have been imposing curfews in towns and districts to flush PKK militants from urban areas in Turkey’s mostly Kurdish Southeast since then.