Turkish soldiers killed in rebel attack

  • 12/10/2015

Two Turkish soldiers have been killed in eastern Turkey in an attack blamed on Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants, a day after the rebel group declared it suspended all offensive operations, media reports say.

The soldiers were killed during clashes with PKK militants in the Senkaya district of Erzurum province, the Dogan news agency said on Sunday (local time), citing the local governor's office.

A wide-scale operation was launched to capture the militants, it added.

The PKK announced it would suspend all attacks - except in self defence - after months of attacks in Turkey, a move seen as an attempt to help the pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party (HDP) boost its score in the upcoming election on November 1.

The announcement came shortly after twin explosions in Turkey's capital Ankara on Saturday that killed at least 95 people who had gathered for a peace rally organised by leftist and pro-Kurdish opposition groups.

The rebels had since late July staged almost daily attacks against members of the security forces, after a two-year-old truce, killing over 140 Turkish police and soldiers.

The government, for its part, claims to have killed over 1700 Kurdish militants in a relentless bombing campaign against the group.

The Turkish army said on Sunday it killed at least 49 Kurdish rebels in a series of air strikes on the group's bases in northern Iraq as well as southeastern Diyarbakir province.