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 Four more Kurdish PKK rebels killed in Turkey, bringing the death toll to 32

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Four more Kurdish PKK rebels killed in Turkey, bringing the death toll to 32  20.6.2012  
By staff writers

A helicopter flies over a military station in the Yuksekova mountains in Hakkari in the Kurdish region of Turkey, on June 19, 2012. The PKK demanded Turkey's recognition of the Kurds' identity in its constitution and of their language as a native language along with Turkish in the country's Kurdish areas, the party also demanded an end to ethnic discrimination in Turkish laws and constitution against Kurds, ranting them full political freedoms. Photo: AFP
PKK says over a 100 Turkish soldiers died in Hakkari in last clashes.

June 20
, 2012

ANKARA, — Turkey's military Wednesday shot dead four more Kurdish PKK rebels in ongoing clashes in the Kurdish region southeastern Turkey (northern Kurdistan), bringing the death toll to 32, reported the Anatolia news agency quoting local officials.

Fighting between Turkish soldiers and Kurdish rebels erupted early Tuesday when a group of rebels attacked on an army post in the Yuksekova town in Hakkari province near the border with Kurdistan region of Iraq, said Anatolia.

The ongoing clashes have so far left eight soldiers and 24 PKK rebels dead, and wounded another 19 Turkish soldiers, it added.

In a statement on PKK forces’ attacks on military bases in Şemdinli and Yüksekova districts of Hakkari, PKK Press Office HPG-BIM reported that 109 Turkish soldiers died and 100 others were wounded in clashes which started on 19 July morning and still continue in some areas with the support of war planes, cobra helicopters and howitzers, ANF news agency reported.

HPG-BIM stated that four skorsky helicopters were shot down and nine others were damaged in clashes which claimed the lives of 15 guerrillas. The names of killed guerrillas will be declared soon, added HPG-BIM.

In Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s statements on PKK attacks and the operation in the area, Turkish authorities claimed that eight soldiers were killed and 19 were wounded while over 20 guerrillas died in clashes.

Ground troops and combat helicopters were pursuing the assailants, media reported.

This mountainous region of Turkey is often the scene of clashes between security forces and Kurdish rebels, who escalate their attacks in the summer months.

Turkish warplanes generally bomb PKK hideouts in retaliation for attacks on troops.

The PKK has several times proposed peaceful solutions regarding Kurdish problem, Turkey has always refused saying that it will not negotiate with “terrorists”.

Since it was established in 1984, the PKK has been fighting the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to establish a Kurdish state in the south east of the country, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

But now its aim is the creation an autonomous Kurdish region and more cultural rights for ethnic Kurds who constitute the greatest minority in Turkey, numbering more than 20 million. A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.

PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees, lifting the ban on education in Kurdish, paving the way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within Turkey, reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action against the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish constitution.

Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish language and private Kurdish language courses with the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish politicians say the measures fall short of their expectations.

The PKK is considered as 'terrorist' organization by Ankara and U.S. The PKK continues to be on the blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which overturned a decision to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its political wing on the European Union's terror list. 

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