Turkish warplanes hit PKK targets in Turkey, Iraq

Four Turkish soldiers were also killed and nine others were wounded in a PKK attack in Hakkari province

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Turkish warplanes hit Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq, killing at least ten fighters, security sources said on Wednesday.

The military has been carrying out regular air strikes against positions of the outlawed group in the mountainous regions of northern Iraq, where it has camps near the Turkish border, after the collapse of ceasefire last year.

Meanwhile, four Turkish soldiers were killed and nine others were wounded on Wednesday in an attack on a military convoy blamed on PKK militants, the army said.

The military convoy was travelling on the road between Semdinli and Aktutun in the southeastern Hakkari province when it was hit by the roadside bomb left by the “separatist terror group,” the army said, using its customary phrase for the PKK.

The nine injured soldiers were taken to hospital, four of them in serious condition.

Following the collapse of a two-year ceasefire in summer 2015, Turkey has been waging an offensive against the PKK, which is regarded as a terrorist organization by Ankara and its Western allies.

Since then, hundreds of members of the Turkish security forces have been killed in attacks but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed no let up in the operation.

Violence spiked again over the last week, with eight soldiers dying in a single operation against the PKK also in Hakkari province and 16 villages blown up in the province of Diyarbakir after intercepting a truck laden with PKK explosives.

More than 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK took up arms in 1984 demanding a homeland for Turkey's biggest minority.

Since then, the group has pared back its demands to focus on cultural rights and a measure of autonomy.

(With Reuters, AFP)

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