Clashes in Turkey's southeast leave 12 dead

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 18, 2015 12:01 PM

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Ten militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) have been killed in clashes with security forces in southeast Turkey, as well as two civilians, authorities said.

Security forces launched operations in the town of Nusaybin on the Syrian border last week, killing 10 PKK fighters, the Mardin governor's office said in a statement on Wednesday. Two civilians were killed and 13 injured.

The statement did not offer any details of how the casualties were caused.

A two-year ceasefire and peace talks between the Turkish state and the PKK lie in tatters after a 31-year war was reignited in July, following the ruling AK Party's loss of its majority in a June election.

Kurdish politicians accuse the AKP of fomenting the unrest to garner support in a re-run election, a charge the party denies. Fighting has gripped parts of the mainly Kurdish southeast.

The AKP regained its parliamentary majority in the Nov. 1 vote.

Authorities placed Nusaybin under a round-the-clock curfew on Nov. 13, and that remains in place as security forces continue to clear trenches and barricades from the streets, the statement said.

Separately, police in the city of Diyarbakir detained Leyla Imret, the mayor of the town of Cizre, which saw heavy fighting in September, her lawyer said. He said he did not know why she had been detained and that there had been no arrest warrant.

The Interior Ministry suspended Imret, elected Cizre's mayor in 2014, in September while the town was under curfew amid fighting between the PKK and police.

The Diyarbakir prosecutor's office said it had launched an investigation of Figen Yuksekdag, co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, for allegedly "insulting soldiers" last week when she tried to enter Silvan, a district of the city under curfew.

(Reporting by Seyhmus Cakan and Ayla Jean Yackley; Editing by Ece Toksabay and Andrew Roche)