Four Turkish troops killed in Kurdish rebel attack

AFP , Tuesday 18 Sep 2012

Attack on Turkish military convoy kills four and injures scores one day after Turkish PM claims 500 Kurdish rebels were killed over last month

Four Turkish troops were killed and almost 50 others were wounded Tuesday in a rocket assault on their military convoy in Turkey's southeast, according to local officials.

The military convoy was hit by Kurdish rebel rockets on the highway on the outskirts of southeastern Bingol province, sparking a fire that wounded 48 soldiers aboard an army bus.

"Investigation is ongoing, but first data shows we have lost four troops," Mustafa Hakan Guvencer, Bingol governor, told Anatolia news agency.

Dozens of wounded soldiers were transferred to nearby hospitals, Guvencer added. The death toll may rise, according to local security sources.

The Turkish army retaliated with an immediate operation backed by air power in the larger Bingol area to capture the members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) who staged the attack, the agency reported.

The attack comes a day after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said 500 Kurdish rebels were killed over the past month.

The PKK, considered a terrorist group by Turkey and much of the international community, took up arms in the southeast in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed about 45,000 lives.

Short link: