December 2, 2015 / 3:01 PM / 2 years ago

Attack, clashes kill four, injure 10 in Turkey's southeast

DIYARBAKIR (Reuters) - A Turkish soldier and three Kurdish militants were killed and six soldiers, a policeman and three civilians wounded on Wednesday in an attack and clashes across Turkey’s restive southeast, local authorities and security sources said.

Clashes erupted in the town of Sur in Diyarbakir province, in the mainly Kurdish southeast, after Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants violated a curfew and attacked police at a check point, according to a statement on the governor’s website.

One woman militant was killed at the check point, while two others were killed and one police officer was wounded during shooting that followed, security sources said.

Separately in southeastern border province of Mardin, one Turkish soldier was killed and six others wounded when a remote-controlled bomb exploded as a military convoy passed, security and hospital sources said. Three civilians were also injured.

On Saturday, Tahir Elci, a Kurdish lawyer and human rights activist was gunned down in Sur. He was facing trial for saying the banned PKK was not a terrorist organization, as the government describes it. He had, however, denounced PKK violence.

The sub-governorate of the Sur district announced on Wednesday that a curfew had been imposed in six neighborhoods starting from 5 a.m. until further notice.

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 Seyhmus Cakan; Writing by Ece Toksabay and Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Jonny Hogg and Tom Heneghan

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