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The New Arab

Civilians, Turkish forces killed in Kurdish rebel attacks

Several hundred security officers have been killed in PKK-linked attacks in Turkey [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 August, 2016

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Dozens of civilians and Turkish security forces were killed in multiple attacks in the country's southeast on Wednesday, blamed on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party.
At least seven civilians were killed and 25 others wounded in twin bomb attacks on Wednesday, blamed on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in Turkey's southeast.

Four were killed in a car bomb attack in the centre of the city of Diyarbakir while another three civilians lost their lives in a near simultaneous bombing in Kiziltepe in Mardin province to the south, according to the anonymous source.

At least 25 people were wounded in the Mardin attack while 13 others were injured in Diyarbakir.

Both attacks targeted passing police vehicles, the Dogan news agency said with authorities blaming both on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Earlier on Wednesday, five Turkish soldiers were killed and eight others were injured in a homemade bomb attack also blamed on the PKK.

Eight other soldiers were injured in the attack that targeted a passing military convoy in Uludere, close to the Iraqi border, a local security source said.

More than 600 Turkish security force members have been killed in two years of ongoing clashes with the outlawed group, according to a toll given by state-run Anadolu news agency, while over 40,000 people, including civilians, lost their lives since the PKK first took up arms in 1984.

The latest attack comes as Turkish military leadership faces drastic changes since the July 15 failed coup, during which a rogue military faction tried to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from power.

Tens of thousands of people from the military, judiciary, and civil service and education sectors have been sacked or detained since July 15, prompting heavy criticism from the West.

Nearly half of all generals have been imprisoned or dismissed, raising concerns about the coordination of the fight against Kurdish rebels.

The coup attempt, blamed on US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, took place while Erdogan was on a family holiday in southern Turkey and saw both the parliament and the area around the presidential palace bombed from the air.

Turkish authorities warned the United States on Tuesday not to risk sacrificing bilateral ties over the Pennsylvania-based preacher.

Ankara, who has requested Fethullah Gulen be extradited from his US-based home as part of an investigation into the failed coup, said "if the US does not deliver (Gulen), they will sacrifice relations with Turkey for the sake of a terrorist."

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