Two soldiers killed, nearly 50 wounded in PKK attack in Turkey’s southeast

Such attacks on security bases in the southeast have become more common in recent months

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Two soldiers were killed and nearly 50 people wounded in a car bomb attack on a Turkish gendarmerie base in the southeastern town of Hani overnight, security sources said on Tuesday.

A large vehicle laden with explosives rammed into the base and the dormitory housing the families of security personnel, shattering windows and wrecked the roofs of buildings.

Such attacks on security bases in the southeast have become more common as in recent months as fighting between Kurdish militants and security forces rages. Witnesses said vehicles, houses and shops nearby were also damaged due to the powerful blast.

Security sources told Reuters that two soldiers were killed and nearly 50 wounded. The military confirmed in a statement that one soldier and 47 people had been wounded.

Six of the wounded civilians were relatives of the soldiers, the military said.

Following the attack, Turkish gendarmerie and special forces launched an operation with air support in the town centre and the countryside around Hani, north of the provincial capital Diyarbakir, the largest city in the mainly Kurdish southeast.

On Tuesday, a Turkish flag was draped on the side of the base.

Thousands of militants and hundreds of civilians and soldiers have been killed since the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) resumed its fight for greater autonomy last summer, wrecking a 2-1/2-year ceasefire and peace process.

The government has refused to return to the negotiating table and has said it will crush the PKK, considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.

The military said 30 Kurdish militants were killed on Monday in clashes across four southeastern towns Syria, Iraq and Iran, which have been placed under curfews due to military operations.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the PKK took up arms in 1984.