Ankara (Reuters): Turkish security forces killed five Kurdish militants in the southwestern province of Mugla on Thursday, broadcaster NTV said, marking a rare clash in an Aegean coastal region popular with foreign tourists.
Security forces carried out an operation against a group of seven militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Mugla’s Koycegiz district, NTV said. Two of the militants were still being sought, it said.
On Wednesday, security forces captured four Kurdish militants and three others helping them near Mugla’s Seydikemer district, NTV said.
Mugla is the site of major tourist destinations, including Bodrum and Marmaris on Turkey’s southwest coast. Nearly all of the fighting with the PKK happens in the mainly Kurdish southeast on the opposite side of the country.
On Wednesday Mugla hosted the highest profile case related to last year’s abortive putsch, in which the court found 42 former soldiers guilty of trying to kill President Tayyip Erdogan.
It was not immediately clear if the militants’ presence in Mugla was related to that case.
The autonomy-seeking PKK, considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, has waged a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state. More than 40,000 people have died in the conflict.