DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Ten people were wounded in Turkey’s mostly Kurdish southeast on Wednesday when their group, which included two opposition politicians, came under fire while rescuing people hurt in earlier clashes, officials said.
Among those shot in the firefight was a journalist, who was rushed to hospital. Others among the wounded were sheltering in a house in the town of Cizre, where security forces are enforcing a 24-hour curfew, security sources said.
It was not clear who fired on the group of 15 people, which included family members of those hurt earlier, lawmaker Faysal Sariyildiz from the opposition Democratic Peoples’ Party (HDP), and the mayor of Cizre.
The town, near the Syrian and Iraqi borders, has since mid-December witnessed violent clashes between security forces and members of the autonomy-seeking Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
HDP Chairman Selahattin Demirtas told reporters outside parliament in Ankara that the group including Sariyildiz had warned state authorities in advance that they were entering the neighborhood to rescue those wounded earlier. He said ambulances were initially blocked from entering the area.
Security forces have launched operations inside Cizre and a half-dozen other towns and cities in the southeast to root out PKK militants, who have dug trenches and built barricades to keep police at bay. More than 150 civilians have been killed in the crossfire since July, according to rights groups.
Separately, seven soldiers were wounded in a bomb attack by the PKK in Diyarbakir, the biggest city in the southeast, security sources said.
Violence in the southeast is at its deadliest in two decades after a ceasefire collapsed in July.
President Tayyip Erdogan has said his forces will continue operations until the area is free of the PKK, which has been waging an insurgency since 1984 and is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
Reporting by Seyhmus Cakan and Ercan Gurses; Writing by Ayla Jean Yackley; editing by John Stonestreet