Turkish troops killed as blast hits army vehicle

Sep 26, 2016, 6:55 AM EDT
Kurdish fighters
(Source: Kurdishstruggle/flickr)

At least three Turkish soldiers have been killed and eight others wounded after a bus carrying military personnel on a busy route between the towns of Derik and Kiziltepe in Mardin province was struck by a bomb blast on Monday. The witnesses claimed that an explosive device was planted in the road by suspected Kurdistan Workers’ Party (P.K.K.) militants. However, no group claimed immediate responsibility for the assault.

The assault comes a day after the Turkish army carried out a series of ground and air operations, killing at least eight Kurdish militants in Hakkari province near the Iraqi border, writes Middle East Eye. The P.K.K., which is designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey and its Western allies, has lost some 320 fighters in Hakkari since the operations began several weeks ago.

The P.K.K. has been involved in a string of attacks on the security forces in the past, reports Reuters. The country’s southeast, which is home to some 15 million Kurds, has seen a bloody conflict spanning over three-decades. Hundreds of security forces, rebels and civilians have been killed in the region since July 2015 when a two-year truce fell apart.