Watchdog: Turkey blocks probes of rights abuses in southeast

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Human Rights Watch says the Turkish government is preventing independent investigations into alleged mass abuses against civilians across southeastern Turkey.

Large swaths of the region plunged into violence last summer after a tenuous 2½-year cease-fire between the Turkish state and Kurdish militants unraveled.

The rights group says the alleged abuses include "unlawful killings of civilians, mass forced displacement, and widespread unlawful destruction of private property."

It urged the government to grant the U.N. human rights office access to conflict-stricken areas to probe the allegations.

Security operations in the southeast have often been coupled with round-the-clock curfews that have limited independent reporting by media or international organizations.

Turkish officials could not immediately be reached for comment.