February 1, 2018 / 6:15 AM / 24 days ago

Kurdish militant attacks near Iraq border kill three Turkish soldiers: army

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Three Turkish soldiers were killed and seven wounded on Thursday in separate attacks carried out by Kurdish militants targeting troops stationed in the southeastern Turkish province of Hakkari and in northern Iraq, the army said.

Militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) attacked troops positioned in northern Iraq, killing two soldiers and wounding two, the military said. A third soldier was killed and five wounded in the Cukurca district of Hakkari when militants attacked a military base, it said.

The PKK, which has waged an insurgency in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast since the 1980s, has camps in the Qandil mountains of northern Iraq, from which it frequently carries out attacks in nearby Hakkari.

The group is viewed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. More than 40,000 people, most of them Kurds, have been killed in the conflict.

Local media later reported that another two soldiers were killed and two wounded in the Semdinli district of Hakkari, in what appeared to be a separate incident.

The military said it had killed 49 militants in air strikes in northern Iraq on Monday. The strikes were carried out in six regions of northern Iraq and targeted shelters, hideouts and weapons stocks, the military said.

Reporting by Orhan Coskun, Tulay Karadeniz and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by David Dolan

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