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Clashes in Turkey's southeast: Three security force members killed

AFP , Saturday 5 Dec 2015
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Three members of the Turkish security forces were killed in clashes with Kurdish rebels in restive southeast on Saturday a week after the death of one of the country's best-known advocates for Kurdish rights, security sources said.

A police officer, who was a member of special forces, was killed in a shootout with militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the Sur district of Kurdish majority Diyarbakir province, the sources told AFP.

In another attack, two soldiers were killed in the Sirnak province bordering Iraq, when they came under attack from PKK members, the security sources said.

Four soldiers stopped their vehicle at a roadside and were attacked while trying to change their car's tyres. Two were killed and the other two were wounded.

A week ago Tahir Elci, who was head of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, was shot in the head during a gun battle between police and unidentified gunmen while making a statement calling for calm.

Two police were killed in that incident which triggered protests across Turkey took place in the Sur district.

The Turkish government has been waging a relentless offensive aimed at crippling the PKK, which has staged a string of attacks against security forces in Turkey since a two-year-old ceasefire fell apart in late July.

The violence has destroyed hopes of fresh talks to end a conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives since 1984.

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