Turkey (Reuters) – Kurdish rebels attacked the offices of a mining company in Turkey’s southeast province of Hatay late on Saturday, killing a security guard and wounding two more, security forces said.
Violence between the Turkish armed forces and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerrillas has escalated in recent weeks as warmer weather reaches mountains in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq where the militants are active.
The attack on the chrome mine near Kisecik village, in which a PKK rebel was killed in a firefight, follows two other clashes over the weekend which left two soldiers and three village guards working for Turkish security forces dead.
Thousands of Turkish soldiers are engaged in large-scale operations in the provinces of Hakkari, Siirt, Tunceli, Diyarbakir and Bingol, security sources said.
Just over a week ago Turkish warplanes bombed some 50 PKK targets in northern Iraq.
Militants said in March they could renew fighting against Turkish forces after the spring thaw because a political settlement seemed more remote since the ban of Turkey’s main Kurdish party and because of Turkey’s military action.
The PKK took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984 with the aim of creating an independent homeland in the mainly Kurdish southeast of the country.
More than 40,000 people, mainly Kurds, have died in the conflict, which decreased in intensity since the capture and jailing of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in 1999.