Turkish troops prepare for military action during a curfew at Diyarbakir, southeast Turkey, February 26, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
The Turkish military says at least eight soldiers have been killed in clashes with Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants and a helicopter crash in Turkey’s southeast.
The military said in a statement that six soldiers were killed and eight others wounded in clashes with the militants in the largely-Kurdish Hakkari Province on Friday.
A military helicopter that had been sent to the region to support the soldiers crashed later in the day and its two pilots were killed.
The statement cited technical defects as the cause of the crash after the helicopter carried out an operation that killed six PKK militants.
The Turkish military has launched a large-scale military campaign against PKK militants in its southern border region since last year.
In an operation on Thursday, Turkish jets carried out attacks on the majority-Turkish town of Nusaybin.
Turkey has also been pounding militant positions in neighboring Iraq and Syria.
On Thursday, four militants were killed and 17 others wounded when a bomb accidentally exploded in a village in the Sarikamis district, Turkish security sources and the Interior Ministry said.
The ministry said the explosion occurred as PKK militants were loading explosives onto a truck, which was being prepared for an attack on security forces.
The PKK, which is fighting for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey’s southeast, launched its militancy against Turkey in 1984. So far, more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.