Diyarbakır, Aug 19 () - Three soldiers have been killed and one has been wounded in clashes with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır’s Hani and Lice districts, while a police officer was wounded after PKK members attacked the district police department in the province’s Bağlar district.
In a written statement issued on Aug. 19, the Turkish General Staff said the two soldiers were killed in clashes with members of the PKK in Hani, where PKK members tried to join a group of around 150 people who had formed a human shield on the road linking the main road between Diyarbakır and the neighboring province of Bingöl at around 7:30 p.m.
PKK members attempted to join the group at around 8:55 p.m. when clashes erupted between militants and the gendarmerie forces.
Two soldiers, non-commissioned officer Metin Aydemir and specialized sergeant Latif Adıgüzel, were killed in the clashes, and another fellow soldier was injured, the statement read.
The PKK’s military wing did not immediately issue a statement about the clash.
In a separate statement, the Turkish General Staff stated on Aug. 19 that a lieutenant, Ubeyd Turan, had succumbed to his injuries in the hospital where he was taken after being wounded in the clashes with the PKK at around noon on Aug. 18 in the Lice district of Diyarbakır.
Turan was among the three soldiers wounded when specialized sergeant Muhammet Tufan was killed in Lice on Aug. 18.
A funeral ceremony was organized for the three soldiers in the Diyarbakır Military Hospital on Aug. 19, after which they were sent to their hometowns. Aydemir will be laid to rest in the northeastern province of Erzurum, Adıgüzel in the Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir and Tufan in the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir.
Policeman injured in Diyarbakır
A police officer was also wounded in an attack by the PKK on the Bağlar District Police Department in Diyarbakır late Aug. 18. A policeman, who was standing guard in front of the station, was taken to hospital after receiving non-life-threatening wounds to the leg. Diyarbakır Chief of Police Halis Böğürcü inspected the scene following the attack, after which a large-scale operation was launched in the region.
A retired village guard in the eastern province of Elaziğ’s Arıcak district was also reported missing early Aug. 17 after he left his home to pick almonds.
Fetih Tanyener, a 57-year-old former village guard, left his house early Aug. 17 but did not return in the evening and has not been heard from since. Gendarmerie forces have launched an operation to find the missing man.
Meanwhile, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Assembly member Bercan Aktaş was arrested Aug. 18 for sharing a tweet about a fallen police officer.
Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office decided to arrest Aktaş for “making propaganda on behalf of a terror organization.”
“Police captain of the special forces Ahmet Çamur has been neutralized in Şemdinli,” read the tweet Aktaş posted on Aug. 16. The General Staff frequently uses the turn of phrase “neutralizing terrorists” when discussing the killing of militants.