Soldiers salute as other soldiers carry a picture and the coffin of Lieutenant Harun Parlak, who was killed during clashes with militants in the Turkish eastern province of Van, during the funeral ceremony at Kocatepe Mosque in Ankara on September 5, 2016. (Photo by AFP) photo)
A roadside bomb attack and violent clashes with militants have claimed lives of at least nine Turkish soldiers across Turkey
’s largely Kurdish southeast, security sources say.
In the first incident, at least two soldiers and two village guards were killed and six others wounded after suspected militants form the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) detonated an explosive device that had been planted on a highway in Kurdish-dominated Mardin Province, on Monday.
The Turkish military
authorities have launched an operation to hunt down “fleeing terrorists” across the troubled region.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack, but Turkish sources say it was carried out by PKK’s militants.
Separately, six Turkish soldiers were killed and one was injured during fierce clashes with PKK militants at a checkpoint near a prison in the Uludere district of Sirnak Province.
The Turkish military meanwhile said eight PKK militants were “neutralized” on Sunday in the ongoing ground and air operations in Hakkari province near the Iraqi border.
According to military, at least 320 PKK militants have been killed in Hakkari since the operations began several weeks ago.
Turkish military forces have been conducting ground operations as well as airstrikes against PKK positions in Turkey’s troubled southeastern border region and Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region over the past year.
Turkey’s southeastern region has been the scene of violence since the collapse of a ceasefire between the government and PKK militants in July 2015.
According to a latest toll given by Turkish media, more than 600 members of the country’s security forces and over 7,000 PKK militants have been killed since the collapse of the truce.
The PKK, which has been calling for an autonomous Kurdish region since 1984, has since carried out several attacks on police and military posts in the largely Kurdish region.