Soldier, village guard killed in clashes with terrorist PKK

June 12, 2012, Tuesday/ 11:21:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

A village guard and a specialist sergeant were killed in clashes with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the southeastern province of Şırnak on Tuesday.

A clash reportedly occurred in the Besta-Dereler region of Şırnak, on the border with northern Iraq. Village guard Arif Güngen lost his life in the attack, while village guard Mehmet Bektaş was taken to Şırnak Military Hospital after being wounded by gunfire.

A funeral ceremony for Güngen is expected to be held at the 23rd Gendarmerie Border Division Command. Air-backed operations are continuing in the region.

In a similar development, a specialist sergeant was killed in a separate clash with the terrorist organization in the Kato Mountains of Beytüşşebap district, Şırnak province, on Tuesday.

The PKK, which is fighting for autonomy in Turkey's mainly Kurdish Southeast, was founded on Marxist ideology. Turkey has been conducting airstrikes on PKK camps in Iraq's northern mountains and inside Turkey since August of last year, following an increase in attacks on Turkish troops and civilians by the PKK, which has been fighting for autonomy for Turkey's largely Kurdish Southeast since 1984. The conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives. The group is labeled a terrorist organization by the European Union and the United States, which has supplied Predator drones to assist Turkey.

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