8 security force members, 5 PKK militants killed in clashes in SE Turkey

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Turkish soldiers arrive operation site between Ikiyaka Mountains and Daglica by military helicopter as Turkish Armed Forces stage operation against PKK terrorists near Iraq border, in Hakkari, Turkey on August 15, 2017. Ozkan Bilgin / Anadolu Agency

Six soldiers and two village guards were killed on Thursday in clashes with Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists in the southeastern province of Hakkari, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

According to the report, three soldiers were injured during the clashes, which started when a group of PKK militants tried to cross the border into the Şemdinli district of Hakkari province from Iraq.

Turkish authorities had conducted direct talks with jailed PKK chief Abdullah Öcalan for several years until a truce in effect collapsed in the summer of 2015. Since then, there have been heavy clashes between the PKK and Turkish security forces.

More than 40,000 people, including 5,500 security force members, have been killed in four decades of fighting between the Turkish state and the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU.

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