Three dead, two injured in land mine blasts in southeastern Turkey

Three dead, two injured in land mine blasts in southeastern Turkey

Photo: AA

August 20, 2012, Monday/ 10:37:00

At least three Turkish soldier died and two others injured in two land mine blasts in southeastern Turkish province of Hakkari on the Iraq border.

The first blast took place in Dağlıca neighborhood of Hakkari's Yüksekova district. In the land mine explosion during an operation by Turkish security forces in the area on Saturday, one major sergeant and two soldiers were injured. The land mine is suspected to be planted by the terrorists from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The sergeant later died of heavy injures while other two soldiers are now being treated in Hakkari Military Hospital. The body of the dead officer was sent to Ankara for an autopsy.

Turkish security forces have launched a military operation in the region with air support. Sources said the security forces reportedly killed 15 PKK terroristsThe second attack by suspected PKK terrorists killed two soldiers and also wounded several travelling in an armored vehicle between Hakkari and Van provinces.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The PKK, designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union, launched a separatist fight in southeastern Turkey 28 years ago. More than 40,000 people have since been killed.

The violence is a headache for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as he seeks to limit the impact on Turkey of the conflict in Syria, where the PKK is exerting growing authority in some border areas. Ankara believes PKK terrorists are receiving arms from Syrian forces.

Suspected PKK members ambushed a Turkish military bus in western Turkey earlier this month, an attack outside the group's regular field of operation in the mainly Kurdish southeast..