Europe

Turkey restores curfew in restive Kurdish city of Cizre

Residents walk through the centre of of Cizre in southeastern Turkey - 12 September 2015 Image copyright AFP
Image caption The city of Cizre has been the scene of fierce fighting in recent days

Turkish authorities have re-imposed a curfew on the mainly Kurdish city of Cizre, just a day after it was lifted.

Officials say the move is necessary to enforce security and save lives while tracking down militants from the outlawed Kurdish PKK group.

Three Turkish police were killed on Sunday in two separate attacks by militants in the south-east.

A car bomb near the city of Sirnak killed two officers. Another died in a rocket attack in the city of Silvan.

Violence has surged between Turkey and the PKK since a ceasefire collapsed in July.

Security sources said Turkish forces backed by helicopters chased militants responsible for the Sirnak bombing, killing at least five of them.

A statement from regional governor Ali Ihsan Su said the new curfew had been put in place to "ensure the security of our people's lives and property" while authorities hunt "members of the separatist terror organisation".

The new curfew came into place at 19:00 local time (16:00 GMT) on Sunday and would remain in place until further notice, the statement added.

The restrictions on Cizre were lifted on Saturday after eight days. The city was sealed off while Turkish troops spent eight days carrying out a counter-terrorism operation against the PKK.

Grim reports from Turkish town under curfew

Turkey-PKK conflict: Why are clashes escalating?

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A curfew in the city of Diyarbakir triggered violent protests on Sunday
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Residents in Cizre held funerals at the weekend for those killed in recent violence

Curfews are also in force in several districts around the south-eastern city of Silvan and another in the region's largest city, Diyarbakir, Turkish media reported.

In the Sur district of Diyarbakir, clashes broke out, leaving seven police officers wounded, security sources said.

Police also fired tear gas and water cannon at groups of youths elsewhere in the city.

In televised comments, the leader of Turkey's main pro-Kurdish HDP party, Selahattin Demirtas, urged a return to peace talks.

"We call on all parties to take into account the public's expectations," he said.

Civilian casualties were reported in Cizre during the earlier curfew. Images from the city on Sunday showed coffins being carried through the streets.

Turkey has described Cizre as a hotbed of PKK activity.

But critics accuse President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of renewing violence to curb support for the HDP, whose 14% share of the vote in June elections cost the governing AKP its majority in parliament.

The government denies the accusations. Many people fear the clashes will mount as snap elections scheduled for November draw closer.

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