PM Davutoğlu advises information on clashes in southeast to be received from official sources

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

Amid reports stating that 60 PKK terrorists were killed during a raid on a basement in the district of Cizre in southeastern Şırnak province on Sunday, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu stated that only official statements should be taken into account regarding the clashes.

On late Sunday, TRT Haber, the news channel of Turkey's official broadcaster, reported that Turkish security forces raided a basement where nearly 70 PKK terrorists were hiding and killed 60 of them in clashes.

Davutoğlu said that the information in the report has not been confirmed so far, adding that such reports are being manipulated to create the image that security forces execute wounded terrorists.

On Monday, Şırnak Governorate stated that 10 terrorists were killed in the ongoing operations in the town, however, did not disclose further information.

The situtation in Cizre deteriorated even before the PKK renewed its armed insurgency against Turkey in July 2015. Located on the border with Syria, the control in neighborhoods of the town was divided between pro-PKK groups and anti-PKK groups with ties to extremist groups starting late 2014, when tensions in Turkey's southeast rose as Daesh held a siege over the Kurdish-inhabited northern Syrian town of Kobani.

Since then, security forces have been trying to regain control of neighboorhoods barricaded in the town amid intensive armed clashes. As the operations have neared to an end, reports accusing Turkish forces of extrajudicial killings or blocking ambulances and firefighters have emerged, mainly by the deputies of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). Government officials and local authorities have strongly denied these accusations, stating that PKK terrorists target ambulances trying to take the wounded to hospitals.

The PKK, considered a terrorist organization also by the U.S. and the E.U., resumed its 30-year long armed campaign against the Turkish state in late July 2015. Since then, more than 250 members of Turkish security forces and thousands of PKK terrorists have been killed in operations across Turkey and northern Iraq.

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