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Toll rises to 8 dead in deadliest PKK attack since Turkey coup


Ankara : Eight Turkish soldiers were killed in clashes with Kurdish militants in the country’s restive southeast, the army said today, raising the toll from the deadliest such attack on the military since the failed coup.

The soldiers were performing a security check when they were attacked by militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Hakkari province on the road near Cukurca late yesterday.

The army said in a statement another 25 soldiers were injured during the clashes in the area close to northern Iraq.

Previous reports late yesterday had said that five soldiers were killed.

Eight militants were “neutralised” in the area after a air force operation, the army added.

Fighting between the military and the PKK has continued since the July 15 failed putsch in which a rogue group within the armed forces tried to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from power.

Turkey has blamed the coup on followers of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen and officials have made no attempt to link the plot with the PKK.

Hundreds of Turkish security force members have been killed by the PKK in attacks since the collapse of a two-year ceasefire in July last year.

In response, the government has launched military operations against the Kurdish militant group, killing thousands of militants. Activists claim innocent civilians have also been killed in the military offensives.

Over 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK – proscribed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and the United States – first took up arms in 1984.

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