Five Turkish soldiers, 16 PKK militants killed in clashes
Handout photo by the Turkish Armed ForcesFive Turkish soldiers were killed and seven were wounded in a landmine attack followed by an ambush by suspected militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the eastern Hakkari province yesterday. Sixteen PKK militants were killed in the clashes that followed the attack.
Four landmines were detonated by PKK militants as a Turkish military convoy drove on a road between Hakkari's Bağlar and Zorgeçit villages, located roughly 20 kilometers away from the center of the province's Şemdinli district.
PKK militants opened fire on the convoy after the blasts, prompting a firefight between the soldiers and militants. Five soldiers were killed and seven were injured in the attack.
Two Cobra gunships and numerous armored vehicles were dispatched from Hakkari's Yüksekova district to reinforce the troops who were ambushed. Sixteen PKK militants were killed in the ensuing clashes.
Esat Canan, a deputy from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), was near the area where the clashes erupted and wrote on his Twitter account that they "were not permitted to leave the region."
The commander of Turkey's Land Forces, Gen. Hayri Kıvrıkoğlu, went to Hakkari in the wake of the attack and paid a visit to Gov. Orhan Alimoğlu today. "The Turkish Armed Forces will continue to carry out its mission to ensure the safety of the region,” Kıvrıkoğlu said.
Outpost attacked in Şırnak
A gendarmerie outpost near Mağara village in the İdil district of the southeastern Şırnak province came under attack by suspected PKK militants yesterday.
Militants attacked the outpost with rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) and assault rifles at around 8:30 p.m., prompting a firefight with the soldiers at the outpost. The ensuing clash lasted around 30 minutes, after which the assailants fled the scene.
No official statement was made regarding the details of the clash, but it was reported that a military operation was launched in the morning to apprehend the fleeing militants.
PKK militants also launched mortars on the Tekeli gendarmerie outpost on Turkey's border with Iran. No injuries were reported in the attack.
The PKK is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.