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Turkish army, PKK rebels clash in blow to peace process

Turkish army, PKK rebels clash in blow to peace process

ANKARA: Turkish troops were engaged in clashes on Saturday with over two dozen rebels from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that left four soldiers wounded and dealt a blow to a fragile peace process.

The army sent armed helicopters, reconnaissance jets and a commando unit to the Agri region in southeastern Turkey where clashes were continuing, the Turkish military said in a statement on its website.

Angrily denouncing the violence, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the PKK of seeking “to dynamite the peace in our country and undermine the peace process”. “I strongly condemn this attack. The clashes are continuing. Twenty-five terrorists are currently fighting our troops,” Erdogan said in a televised speech in the western city of Sakarya on the Black Sea.

The army said troops had been dispatched to the district of Diaydin in Agri after receiving intelligence of a planned “festival” to promote the “separatist terror organisation”.

This is official shorthand for the PKK whose actual name is never used by the authorities.

Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2015

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