Nearly about a dozen Turkish soldiers have been killed during separate clean-up operations against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in Turkey’s restive eastern provinces of Mardin and Van.
Military officials said three soldiers were killed after Kurdish forces attacked a military post in the Dargecit district of Mardin Province, situated about 1,100 kilometers (683 miles) east of the capital, Ankara, on Friday.
The unnamed officials added that three village guards and a civilian also sustained gunshot wounds during the assault.
Separately, eight soldiers lost their lives during fierce exchanges of gunfire with PKK members in a mountainous area of the eastern Turkish province of Van.
The Turkish General Staff also said in a statement that 33 PKK militants had been killed and 30 others injured after Turkish government forces launched a series of aerial and ground operations against the Kurds’ positions in the southeastern Turkish province of Hakkari.
Turkish military forces have been conducting ground operations as well as airstrikes against PKK positions in Turkey’s troubled southeastern border region and Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region over the past year.
The campaign began following the July 2015 bombing in the southern Turkish town of Suruc, which claimed more than 30 civilian lives. Turkish officials held the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group responsible for the act of terror.
PKK militants, who accuse the Ankara government of supporting Daesh, launched a string of supposed reprisal attacks against Turkish security forces after the bomb attack, in turn prompting the Turkish military operations.
The Turkish military recently attacked Kurdish positions inside Syria in a ground incursion as well.