Turkish troops, PKK militants killed in clashes in Southeast

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A photo from last year shows Turkish commandos, backed by helicopters, carry out an operation against PKK militants.

Three Turkish soldiers and four terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members were killed in clashes on Saturday as the military launched a major operation in the southeastern province of Hakkari.

The intensified fighting in recent weeks has claimed casualties on both sides as Turkish security forces carried out a helicopter-backed operation against PKK militants in the region bordering both Iraq and Iran. Three soldiers were also wounded 20 kilometers from Hakkari.

Turkish attack helicopters continue to pound PKK positions near Mount Gabar and Mount Cudi, assisting ground troops who are pursuing the militants. With autumn bringing the season for fighting to an end, the militants are launching their last attacks before winter comes to the mountains.

The fighting and scale of clashes normally subside during winter as harsh weather hampers the fighting capabilities of militants in the mountains. Security forces have also stepped up their efforts to a deal fatal blow to the group.

More than 40,000 people, including 5,500 security force members and 21,000 PKK militants, have been killed during the fight over the past four decades.

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