A file picture shows Turkish soldiers position their vehicle a few hundreds meters from the border line near Suruc, Turkey.

One Turkish soldier was killed and three others wounded Tuesday in Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakir province, the army said.

Fighting erupted during an operation to “capture and neutralize” the militants, believed to be from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), after they had blocked a road connecting the Lice district of Diyarbakir to Bingol province in southeast Turkey, the army said in a statement.

“Four of our personnel were wounded in the clashes and one of our soldiers who was badly wounded succumbed to his injuries in hospital and was martyred,” the army said.

Around 800 security forces launched a major operation against the PKK in the Silvan district of Diyarbakir early Tuesday after the militants erected barricades, dug trenches and gained control of a health centre, Dogan news agency reported.

One militant was killed and another one was injured in the ensuing clashes in Silvan, where the authorities had declared a curfew, Dogan said.

Meanwhile Cihan news agency said Turkish military helicopters targeted rebel hideouts in the Semdinli area in the southeastern Hakkari province, which has seen heavy clashes for the past two weeks.

Ankara is currently waging a two-pronged offensive against Takfiri group, ISIL (so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant), in Syria, and against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels in northern Iraq and southeast Turkey.

Earlier, Turkey has been reluctant to step up fight against ISIL. Media reports repeatedly said that Ankara has been aiding ISIL terrorists against the Kurdish fighters and against the Syrian government.

However, deadly attacks blamed on ISIL recently rocked Turkey, prompting Ankara to allegedly step the fight against the Takfri group.

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But, so far, the air strikes have overwhelmingly concentrated on the separatist Kurdish rebels.

 

AFP

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