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Intense Clashes Erupt Between Turkish Army, Kurdish Fighters in Diyarbakir

© AFP 2021 / Ilyas AkenginA photo taken on February 3, 2016 shows smokes rising over the district of Sur in Diyarbakir after clashes between Kurdish rebels and Turkish forces
A photo taken on February 3, 2016 shows smokes rising over the district of Sur in Diyarbakir after clashes between Kurdish rebels and Turkish forces - Sputnik International
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Intense clashes involving machine guns and artillery is ongoing in the center of the Turkish city of Diyarbakir, which has witnessed clashes between the army and Kurdish fighters, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported Saturday.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks to the press as he arrives for a summit on relations between the European Union and Turkey and on the migration crisis at the EU headquarters in Brussels on November 29, 2015. - Sputnik International
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DIYARBAKIR (Sputnik) – The central Sur district of Diyarbakir, which houses historic monuments dating back to 400 BC, has been rocked by fighting between Kurdish fighters and the Turkish armed forces in recent months.

The district was cordoned off by the military firing alongside Kurdish militants, the correspondent reported. Several ambulance crews have arrived at the scene to pick up the wounded.

Earlier, the city mayor told RIA Novosti that out of the 70,000 Sur residents, 50,000 had left their homes.

A member of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) mans a mounted machine gun in the Al-Nashwa neighbourhood in the northeastern Syrian province of Hasakeh on July 26, 2015 - Sputnik International
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In December, the Turkish authorities declared a curfew in a number of southeastern regions where armed clashes between Ankara forces and PKK fighters continue.

Tensions in Turkey escalated in July 2015, after 33 Kurdish activists were killed in a suicide blast in the city of Suruc and two Turkish policemen were later murdered by the PKK, which led to Ankara's military campaign against the group.

The Kurds, Turkey's largest ethnic minority, are striving to create their own independent state. The PKK was founded in late 1970s to promote the self-determination for the Kurdish community.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in his New Year’s statement that Turkish security forces killed 3,100 PKK militants in 2015.

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