Death toll of Turkish soldiers rises to 10 in PKK attack

Death toll of Turkish soldiers rises to 10 in PKK attack
# 18 September 2012 21:59 (UTC +04:00)
Seven soldiers of the Turkish security forces were killed and 63 others injured on Tuesday after a Turkish military convoy transporting unarmed soldiers returning from leave was hit by a rocket by suspected PKK militants in Bingol province, according to the earlier report.
Some 200 soldiers who had returned from sick or home leave were being transported to their respective military units with a convoy of five buses and 10 armored vehicles escorting the transports, Bingol Governor Mustafa Hakan Guvencer was quoted as saying, adding that the traveling soldiers were unarmed and in civilian clothing.
The convoy was traveling on the highway between the provinces of Bingol and Mus when a bus in the convoy was hit by a rocket at around 12:45 p.m. local time (0945 GMT), Guvencer said, adding that a group of PKK militants hiding on the side of the highway opened fire on the vehicles with assault rifles, prompting a firefight with soldiers guarding the convoy.
Guvencer said buses in the convoy burst into flames after the attack, adding that the explosion was caused by the rocket hitting the vehicle.
Eight of the injured soldiers were in "critical condition," Guvencer said, adding that four of them were sent to a hospital in neighboring Elazig province, including two in serious conditions, with ambulance aircraft.
The Turkish security forces killed 32 PKK rebels in military operations in Zorgecit region of Semdinli town in the southeastern province of Hakkari on September 15, 16 and 17, said a statement released by Hakkari Governor’s Office on Monday.
Meanwhile, eight police officers were killed and nine others wounded in a mine blast attack staged by the PKK on Bingol- Erzurum highway near Hacilar village of Karliova town of Bingol on Sunday, local NTV news channel reported.
A total of 330 PKK militants were killed in 974 military operations from February to August, said a statement issued by the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, took up arms in 1984 in an attempt to create an ethnic homeland in southeastern Turkey. Since then, over 40,000 people have been killed in conflicts involving the group.