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2 Ruling Party Officials, 13 Militants Killed in SE Turkey

2 Ruling Party Officials, 13 Militants Killed in SE Turkey2 Ruling Party Officials, 13 Militants Killed in SE Turkey

Kurdish militants shot and killed two officials from the ruling AK Party in southeast Turkey over the weekend, while the Turkish military killed more than a dozen militants in air strikes, state authorities said on Sunday.

Orhan Mercan, the AKP’s deputy head in the Lice district of Diyarbakir province, was shot in front of his home on Friday night and died of his wounds in hospital, the provincial governor’s office said, Reuters reported.

Militants killed Aydin Ahi, deputy head of the AKP in the Ozalp district of Van province on Saturday night, the governor’s office said. Security sources said the gunmen seized Ahi from his home at gunpoint and killed him nearby.

Energy Minister Berat Albayrak wrote on Twitter that Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants had killed both men. There was no immediate comment on the attacks from the PKK, but the group has targeted officials from the party in the past.

The PKK launched a separatist insurgency against the state in 1984 and more than 40,000 people, mostly Kurds, have been killed in the conflict. It is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union.

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