Turkish airstrikes killed 41 fighters from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Iraq's Qandil Mountains and in southeastern Turkey, the Turkish military said Tuesday.
The Turkish newspaper Zaman, citing a government statement, reported that 29 fighters were killed in the Qandil Mountains in northern Iraq on Aug. 20 and 21. The other 12 fighters were killed in the southeastern Turkish province of Sirnak on Aug. 21, the paper reported.
Turkey has been bombing PKK targets in northern Iraq and in mostly Kurdish southeastern Turkey since July 24, in response to what it says are increased attacks by the group against security forces. Turkey is grappling with a sharp increase in violence and deepening its involvement in the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.
Meanwhile, Turkey's election board confirmed Tuesday that new elections will take place on Nov. 1, since Turkish parties failed to form a government after elections in June. The Turkish lira has dropped to record lows against the U.S. dollar amid the political uncertainty.
The Associated Press reported that more than a hundred people — mostly soldiers and police — have been killed since July in the renewed conflict between the PKK and the government, wrecking a peace process between the Kurds and Ankara that had been underway for than two years.
But Zaman said the number of Turkish security forces killed is about 40 and cites "state media sources" as saying that military operations targeting PKK fighters have "killed nearly 800 militants" since July.
On Monday, PKK fighters detonated a bomb on a road near Semdinli as a military vehicle was passing, killing two soldiers and injuring three others. Semdinli is near Turkey's borders with Iraq and Iran.
Al Jazeera and wire services