December 1, 2015 / 11:41 AM / 3 years ago

Seven Kurdish militants killed in clashes with Turkish forces: governor

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Seven Kurdish militants and one Turkish soldier were killed during several days of clashes in the southeast, the provincial governor’s office said on Tuesday.

Fighting erupted in the town of Derik in Mardin province, north of the Syrian border, after security forces launched an operation against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) members, according to a statement on the governor’s website.

The announcement did not say precisely when the fighting started. Authorities imposed a round-the-clock curfew on the town last week - an action that often precedes operations against militants.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the mainly Kurdish southeast since July, when a two-year PKK ceasefire collapsed. Special police units have imposed 24-hour curfews on several towns in a bid to root out members of PKK’s urban youth wing.

The PKK took up arms in 1984, and more than 40,000 people, mainly Kurds, have died in the violence. Peace talks between the PKK and the state that began in late 2012 faltered earlier this year in the run-up to a general election.

Reporting by Ayla Jean Yackley; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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