PKK attack kills 16 Turkish troops – army

  • 08/09/2015
(File)
(File)

The Turkish army says 16 of its soldiers have been killed in a roadside bomb attack at the weekend carried out by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), one of the deadliest attacks ever carried out by the outlawed group.

"Sixteen of our brave comrades-in-arms were martyred," the army said in a statement on Monday (local time).

Breaking a day of silence over the scale of the toll, it added six others suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the assault, when two armoured vehicles came under attack in the southeastern region of Hakkari.

The army said it had retaliated by launching land and air strikes "with determination" against the PKK in the area.

Twenty-three targets - including caves and storage facilities - were hit in strikes by three F-4 warplanes and four F-16s, it added.

The attack is by far the deadliest in the latest flare-up of the PKK's three-decade-long armed struggle against the Turkish state.

The Turkish military in late July launched a relentless air campaign against PKK strongholds in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq, with the militants hitting back with daily attacks on the police and security forces.

The toll is lower than that given by the PKK, which claimed 31 soldiers were killed in a combination of bombing and gun attacks.

AFP