Wednesday, 17 August: Eight Turkish soldiers were killed today in Turkey’s southeastern province of Hakkari in an attack believed to be carried out by the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK).
The attack occurred in the Cukurca district of Hakkari province, where a roadside bomb was detonated when a military convoy passed. A firefight followed during which eight soldiers were killed and nine wounded. No information is yet available about casualties on the side of the attackers.
The PKK recently stepped up attacks on the Turkish military, drawing a strong response from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who vowed forceful retribution against the PKK after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan ends this year on 29 August.
Listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, the PKK took up arms in 1984 to create a homeland for the ethnic Kurds in southeastern Turkey. Some 40,000 people have been killed in conflicts involving the PKK over the past two decades.
(Sources: Anadola, NTV; 17 August 2011)