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Turkish soldiers killed in major attack

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A Turkish terrorist organisation is believed to have killed several Turkish soldiers killed in a major attack in southeastern Hakkari province on Sunday.

Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants are reportedly responsible for the strike, launched as the military conducted a crack down operation against the rebel group in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq.

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“A mine attack has been staged. There will be a very particular and decisive fight there. We are very sad,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the A-Haber channel.

NTV television said militants staged a mine attack on two military vehicles in a convoy in the Daglica district of Hakkari, a known PKK stronghold.

It added that Turkish F-4 and F-16 warplanes carried out strikes in retaliation against those suspected to have carried out the attack.

“The weather conditions were unfavourable. A struggle was being waged under such conditions,” he said, adding the attack happened during a “clean-up operation” against PKK militants.

Although a death toll is yet to be announced, the PM’s return from a trip to Konya to watch a national football game and emergency security meeting in Ankara are thought to indicate the gravity of the situation.

Earlier on Sunday, two Turkish police were killed and three were wounded in a grenade attack by the PKK in Diyarbakir province.

It spurned a peaceful protest from the Peace Bloc, a group dedicated to preventing civil war and reignite peace talks.

The violence continued despite a ceasefire reached between the government and the PKK in 2013.

It sought to put an end to a 30-year insurgency that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

The PKK promotes the rights of Kurds living in turkey and aims to see an independent Kurdish state in south-eastern Turkey, Syria and Iraq, but uses violence and sporadic attacks to reach its objectives.

– with AAP

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