Six soldiers killed in southeast Turkey bomb attack

Six soldiers killed in southeast Turkey bomb attack
Six Turkish soldiers were killed in a bomb attack on a military convoy in the southeastern Van province on Tuesday, which the army blames on PKK militants.
2 min read
24 May, 2016
The PKK has carried out numerous attacks on Turkish security services [Anadolu]

Six soldiers were killed and two others wounded when a bomb hit a military convoy in southeast Turkey, the army said Tuesday, blaming the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for the attack.

The armoured vehicle carrying the soldiers "was hit by a roadside bomb that was hidden" at the edge of a road in Van province in the Kurdish-majority southeast, the army said in a statement.

A military official confirmed the attack to AFP, adding that the soldiers had been on their way to the scene of a dozen vehicles set on fire by PKK members when their convoy was hit.

After the bombing, the convoy was hit by several rockets, the official said on condition of anonymity, suggesting the soldiers may have fallen victim to a trap.

The army launched an aerial operation after the attack, the army said.

Turkey has been waging an offensive against the PKK after the collapse in 2015 of a two-year ceasefire declared by the group.

Hundreds of members of the Turkish security forces have been killed in attacks since then although civilian deaths in the conflict have rarely been confirmed.

Earlier on Tuesday, the army announced the destruction of more than 2,200 improvised explosive devices in the southeastern provinces of Mardin and Sirnak, according to news agency Anadolu.

Over 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK took up arms in 1984 demanding a homeland for Turkey's biggest minority. Since then, the group has pared back its demands to focus on cultural rights and a measure of autonomy.

Agencies contributed to this report.