Through the Wire

Kurd Militants Kill 7 Turkish Soldiers in Convoy Attack

September 18, 2012
| Security
| Europe, Middle East and North Africa

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Kurdish militants fired rockets at a military convoy in eastern Turkey on Tuesday, killing seven soldiers and wounding more than 60, security sources said, in a further sign that the conflict in the region is deepening.

The convoy was travelling between the provinces of Bingol and Mus when it was hit by a rocket launched by members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the sources said.

The PKK is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and European Union. It took up arms in 1984 with the aim of carving out a Kurdish state in the east of Turkey. The conflict has since killed more than 40,000 people.

Footage aired by Turkey's Dogan news agency on its website showed firefighters around the smouldering shell of a bus on a mountainous road.

Two F-16 fighter jets took off from an air base in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir after the attack, a Reuters witness said. Their destination was unclear.

Recent months have seen some of the deadliest fighting in more than a decade. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday some 500 militants had been "rendered ineffective" - killed, wounded, or captured - in the last month alone.

Fighter jets and attack helicopters have bombarded PKK camps in the southeastern border region with Iraq, and Turkey's chief of staff and other military commanders travelled to the region last week to oversee operations.

Eight police officers were killed on Sunday when a roadside mine exploded in the Karliova district of Bingol and on Saturday suspected PKK fighters killed four Turkish soldiers in an attack on a convoy near the border with Iran and Iraq.

As well as the human toll, the conflict has hampered economic development in one of Turkey's poorest corners and worsened instability in the region bordering Iran, Iraq and Syria.

More than 700 people have been killed since a parliamentary election in June last year, making this the deadliest period since the capture of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in 1999, the International Crisis Group said in a report this month.

Login or Create New Account
Email Address:
New to LIGNET? Create New Account
GET FREE Intelligence Reports

LIGNET provides you with actionable intelligence and in-depth analyses from seasoned insiders including senior CIA officials, presidential advisors, ambassadors, and more.

Sign Up for
FREE Intelligence Reports!
Join Now
Already have an account?
Click here to log in.

Join Now
Knowledge is Power
Only if You Access it!
Upgrade to a full access account and get the official CIA World Fact Book 2014 FREE!
Upgrade Now
FREE CIA World Factbook 2013
What is LIGNET?
Powered by Newsmax
LIGNET is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Langley Intelligence Group Network is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.