Turkish forces kill four Kurdish militants


Turkish security forces killed four Kurdish militants yesterday, security officials said, during clashes that have raged on despite government moves to start a peace process with the fighters’ jailed leader.

The four Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerrillas were killed in the countryside in the Midyat district of Turkey’s southeastern Mardin province, near the border with Syria, and fighting was ongoing, the officials said.

The clash came a week after militants killed a police officer in Midyat and media reports said security forces had trapped PKK fighters in a cave in the area.

More than 40,000 people have died in fighting since the PKK took up arms in 1984 seeking autonomy for Turkey’s Kurdish minority.

Hopes of an end to the conflict have grown in recent weeks after the government acknowledged state intelligence officials were talking to jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.

The talks seek to seal a deal under which PKK militants would stop fighting in return for reforms boosting minority Kurdish rights. – (Reuters)