x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Soldiers killed in clashes in southeast Turkey

Eight Turkish soldiers and 10 Kurdish rebels were killed early today in clashes in southeast Turkey, the local governor's office said.

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey // Eight Turkish soldiers and 10 Kurdish rebels were killed early Tuesday in clashes in southeast Turkey, the local governor's office said.

Eight Turkish soldiers were killed and 16 wounded when members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) attacked an army post at Yesiltas, near the border with Iraq and Iran, the governor's office said in a statement posted on its website.

"Operations are continuing in the region. According to preliminary findings, 10 terrorists were rendered ineffective," it added, a term often used by Turkish officials and security forces to refer to rebel deaths.

A group of Kurdish rebels probably crossed into Turkey from their bases in northern Iraq to attack the army post at Yesiltas, local security services said.

The NTV news channel said ground troops and combat helicopters were pursuing the assailants.

This mountainous region of Turkey is often the scene of violent clashes between security forces and Kurdish rebels, which escalate their attacks in the summer months.

Turkish warplanes generally bomb PKK hideouts in retaliations for attacks on troops.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and by much of the international community, took up arms in the Kurdish-majority southeast Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.