Ten Turkish soldiers, 10 PKK separatists killed in overnight clashes
Ten Turkish soldiers and 10 Kurdish separatists were killed Wednesday night during separate clashes in south-east Turkey, the General Staff announced on Thursday.
Four soldiers were killed in the province of Kavakli district of Hakkari province when their vehicle came under fire from separatists from the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), the General Staff said in a short statement posted on its official website, reproted dpa.
One soldier was also killed and 15 injured when a troop-carrying helicopter crashed on its reinforce efforts to capture the PKK militants responsible for the attack. The helicopter had suffered an mechanical fault, the statement said.
The General Staff said five PKK separatists were killed in fighting in the Derecik district of Hakkari and around Mt Cudi in Sirnak province.
The Dogan news agency also reported on Thursday that five Turkish soldiers and five PKK militants were killed Wednesday night in separate clashes in the Cukurca and Sirnak districts of Hakkari.
Ankara blames the separatist group for the deaths of more than 35,000 people since the early 1980s when the PKK began its fight for independence or autonomy for the mainly Kurdish-populated south-east of Turkey.
The PKK is considered by the United States and the European Union to be a terrorist group.