Kurdish rebels threaten renewed violence in Turkey if peace talks make no progress by June

A Kurdish rebel commander has warned that fighting in Turkey's southeast could resume by June if efforts to end a 30-year insurgency make no progress.

Murat Karayilan's comments came days after Turkish and Kurdish officials declared a "new phase" in the peace process after widespread protests by Kurds in October threatened to derail the talks.

Karayilan told Iraq-based Roj News that imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan could be freed from prison by April if the talks make headway. However, he threatened to resume hostilities before Turkey's June elections if there is no progress. His comments were carried by Turkish and Kurdish media on Wednesday.

Turkey began talking to Ocalan in 2012 with the aim of ending the conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people since 1984.