14 dead after clashes with rebels, helicopter crash in Turkey

14-dead-after-clashes-with-rebels-helicopter-crash-in-Turkey.   ANKARA, Turkey,  Fourteen people died Friday in clashes in Turkey’s southeastern Hakkari province between soldiers and the militant arm of the Kurdistan Workers Party, the Turkish General Staff announced.

PKK rebels in Turkey. Clashes between the outlawed PKK and the Turkish military Friday resulted in 14 deaths, including two in a helicopter crash. Photo by BijiKurdistan/Wikimedia/Flickr



















Six members of the outlawed party, known as PKK, died in the battles in the largely Kurdish Cukurca district, near its border with Iraq, the military statement said. It added six soldiers were killed and eight were injured in the clashes, and a helicopter sent to the area crashed, killing two aboard. The cause of the helicopter accident was described as a technical fault.

Four suspected PKK bomb-makers were killed Thursday in the nearby city of Diyarbakir when rebels loaded the explosives onto a truck, the Turkish Interior Ministry said. The incident occurred hours after seven people were injured in a car-bomb attack on a military facility in an Istanbul suburb, although no responsibility for the attack was announced.

The area in southeastern Turkey, where the battles occurred Friday, is regarded as a route for terrorists traveling from Iraq to Turkey. The PKK, branded a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, resumed a 30-year military campaign against Turkey in July 2015. More than 440 police, guards and soldiers have been killed since, as have more than 4,500 PKK members, the Turkish state-run Andalou News Agency reported.

By Ed Adamczyk