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Kurdish rebels ambush Turkish convoy, killing at least 7 soldiers


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Kurdish rebels ambush Turkish convoy, killing at least 7 soldiers

2011-08-18 00:59:42 GMT+7 (ICT)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY (BNO NEWS) -- At least seven soldiers were killed on Wednesday when a roadside bomb and an ambush targeted a military convoy in southeastern Turkey, officials said. The attack was reportedly carried out by Kurdish rebels.

The incident happened at around 9 a.m. local time in the Cukurca district of Turkey's southeastern province of Hakkari, which is located near the Iraqi border. Government officials confirmed that a roadside bomb, allegedly placed by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebel group, struck the military convoy, the National Turk reported.

According to reports, following the explosion, alleged PKK rebels opened fire against the soldiers, causing more casualties. Among the fatalities was a military officer, who was in command of the troops.

Turkey's Hakkari Governor's Office confirmed seven soldiers were killed while eleven were injured. But some reports put the death toll at eight, saying one soldier died at the scene while seven others later died from the injuries they suffered.

The country's Defense Minister, Ismet Yilmaz, has meanwhile vowed to retaliate with force as military operations have been launched to capture the perpetrators. Recently, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had hinted on increased security measures to fight terrorism and the PKK. More than 30 Turkish soldiers have been killed by alleged PKK activity since July.

The PKK, which has been labeled as a terrorist organizations by the United States and the European Union, was established in 1984 in its efforts to establish the eastern and southeastern regions of Turkey as an autonomous Kurdish state. Over 40,000 soldiers and civilians have been killed in violent clashes since the group took arms. The PKK maintains its military bases across the Iraqi border.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-08-18

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