Four civilians, one police officer and one soldier died in an armed conflict with members of the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the south-eastern province of Hakkari on Sunday night (11 September). The clash stemmed from an attack of members of the outlawed PKK on the District Gendarmerie Command and the District Police Directorate in Şemdinli.
A fierce conflict reportedly evolved in the district after the first attack with a bazooka and the use of automatic weapons on the side of the PKK and the security forces striking back.
"14-year-old Osman died as well"
Ömer Oğuz, reporter of the YuksekOvaHaber news portal, told bianet that the four civilians killed in the clashes also include a 14-year-old boy called Osman Erbaş. Furthermore, four civilians were wounded, one of them heavily.
The people who were killed or injured were part of a wedding party that was held in the direct neighbourhood of the Police Directorate. The names of the civilians who died in the clashes are Osman Erbaş, Tayyar Gürelli, Necdet Gürelli and Resul Çetin.
"Life stopped in Şemdinli"
Oğuz also reported that one police officer and one soldier were killed in the course of the incident. According to information from the governorship, seven soldiers were wounded, Oğuz added.
He said that after the clashes that went on till the morning Şemdinli turned into a ghost city. With the arrival of special operation teams nobody was able to leave the house and shutters remained closed. Oğuz mentioned that helicopters and planes were constantly circling above the city.
5 kidnapped workers free
On 11 September, the PKK released the workers of three GSM operators that had been kidnapped on 22 August in Bitlis. Niyazi Turgut, İhsan Danışman and Cezayir Karaca were freed close to the Simek village on the highway between Tatvan and Hizan. Another two people had previously been released.
Turgut, Danışman, Karaca, Mehmet Burak and Adnan Başak were abducted after they had gone to Anadere as part of the Yelkenli village 30 km off the city of Tatvan in order to repair a defect.
Burak and Başak were released on 26 August close to the Yelkenli village.
Right after their release, Turgut, Danışman and Karaca applied to Hasan Ceylan, Head of the Human Rights Association (İHD) Siirt Branch. Ceylan went to the District Gendarmerie Command together with the three men. They gave their statements at the gendarmerie and were released subsequently.
Still 14 people kept hostage
In September, the PKK kidnapped four village guards in Şırnak and four workers from a dam construction site in Siirt.
A total of 14 people are currently being kept hostage by the PKK, some of them since July, among them three soldiers, one health technician, one governor candidate, one driver, four village guards and four construction workers. (EKN/NV)