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Turkish military kills 20 kurdish fighters in Hakkari, says army

ANKARA, Dec 3, (Agencies): The Turkish military killed 20 fighters from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) after they tried to attack army bases in the southeastern Hakkari province, the military said on Saturday.

The fighters crossed into Turkey from northern Iraq and attempted to launch attacks on military bases in the mountainous border region, the military said, without giving further details. Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence since a 2-1/2 year ceasefire between the government and the PKK broke down in July last year.

The PKK, which is designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the European Union and the United States, first took up arms in 1984. More than 40,000 people, most of them Kurds, have died in the fighting since. Heavy winds forced a Russian ship to run aground off the coast of Istanbul on Friday, Turkey’s Dogan news agency reported. It was not immediately clear if anyone was injured, although footage from Dogan showed men sitting in a lifeboat on the deck of the ship, waiting to be brought down while rescue workers gathered nearby at the coast.

The ship ran aground just off Istanbul’s Kartal district, on the Asian side of the city on the coast of the Sea of Marmara. Istanbul’s European and Asian sides are separated by the Bosphorus Strait, an important international shipping lane for oil and grain. Meanwhile, measures taken in Turkey after the July 15 coup attempt created an “environment conducive to torture” and ill treatment appears to have been widespread immediately after the failed putsch, a UN expert said Friday. Turkey is under a state of emergency, extended for 12 weeks in October, after a rogue military faction tried to remove President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from power on July 15.

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