7,000 Turkish soldiers deployed in 18 villages in Lice, curfews declared

Turkish army bombardment of rural Lice, Diyarbakir.

A comprehensive military operation was launched on 5 March against PKK militants in eastern Turkey in the town of Lice of Diyarbakir in which 7,000 soldiers, police officers and village guards have set up camp in the town’s rural areas where a curfew has been declared in 18 villages.

Four Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants are reported to have been killed today in the operation that is being supported by Turkish fighter jets and 17 military helicopters, according to Dogan News Agency.

Kurdish Firat News Agency has reported that several houses in the villages under curfew have been raided with villagers being searched and verbally abused.

In February the Turkish army had conducted operations in Korukoy village in the town of Nusaybin where four people were killed and over 50 detained. Local accounts of torture and malpractice by the Turkish army were condemned by opposition MPs in Turkey’s parliament.

The Turkish army had intensified its military campaigns against the PKK throughout the winter both on the ground inside Turkey and through air bombardments of the organisation’s camps in the Qandil mountain range in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.