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Turkey's PKK Militants End Cease-fire

  • VOA News

FILE - Demonstrators hold flags with pictures of imprisoned Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, during a protest against latest security operations in Diyarbakir, Turkey, Sept. 6, 2015.

FILE - Demonstrators hold flags with pictures of imprisoned Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, during a protest against latest security operations in Diyarbakir, Turkey, Sept. 6, 2015.

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) said Thursday the cease-fire it declared with Turkey ahead of the country's elections is over.

In comments carried by the pro-Kurdish Firat news agency, the PKK attributed the change in policy to what it called the government's focus on war and its latest attacks.

On Wednesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to press ahead with a military campaign against the PKK, saying Turkish forces would continue until every one of the militants is defeated.

Erdogan's party lost its majority rule in June but won renewed support and a new majority in Sunday's parliamentary election.

Turkish planes have been bombing PKK targets in the mainly Kurdish areas in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq, while the militants carried out their own attacks in recent months. The fighting has left hundreds of people dead.

The start of the government's campaign in July led to the PKK scrapping a three-year cease-fire. The group, which is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, had reinstated its halt in fighting before the election.

The conflict between Turkey and the PKK has left 40,000 people dead since 1984.

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