Amid Clashes With Kurds, Turkey Declares Curfew on Embattled Town

Gunfire rings out in Silopi through the night as violence erupts elsewhere in the region.

A women and her children stand in the ruins of battle-damaged house in the Kurdish town of Silopi, southeastern Turkey, January 19, 2016.
AFP

Turkey declared a curfew in the southeastern town of Silopi on Tuesday after Kurdish militants launched a rocket attack on an armored police vehicle, killing one officer and wounding four, security sources said.

Witnesses said gunfire rang out in the town, near the Iraqi border, through the night while clashes erupted elsewhere in the mainly Kurdish southeast, which is suffering the worst violence in two decades after conflict flared up last July.

Peace talks with the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group collapsed last year and on Monday President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ruled out reviving them, vowing to stamp out the insurgency.

In Silopi, local authorities declared a curfew from 4:30 a.m. in an announcement by loudspeaker from mosque minarets and police vehicles, witnesses said.

In the town of Nusaybin near the Syrian border, which has been under curfew for three weeks, a PKK rocket attack killed an army major and another officer on Monday, security sources said.

They said two police officers were wounded in a bomb attack on their armored vehicle on Monday in the Lice district of Diyarbakir province.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the PKK took up arms in 1984. The group, which says it is fighting for autonomy for Kurds, is designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and European Union.