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Kurdish rebels kill seven Turkish soldiers in roadside blast

Kurdish PKK rebels have fought with Turkey for over three decades [AFP]

Date of publication: 4 October, 2018

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A Turkish military vehicle has been targeted by Kurdish rebels while travelling through the country's south-east.

Seven Turkish soldiers were killed and two others wounded after Kurdish rebels detonated an explosive device close to their convoy on Thursday, a senior official said.

The explosion occurred on a road near the town of Gercus in the majority-Kurdish province of Batman. 

Numan Kurtulmus, a deputy chairman of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said the soldiers inside the armoured military vehicle were on their way to protect a construction site in the region.

Earlier, the state-run Anadolu agency said they were travelling to carry out operations against Kurdish rebels.

Four of the soldiers were killed at the site while three others died of their wounds while hospitalised.

The agency said the military had launched a "wide-scale" operation, backed by air power, to find the assailants.

The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has waged a more than three-decade old insurgency in Turkey's mostly Kurdish southeast region. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people since it started in 1984.

The group is considered a terror organisation by Turkey and its Western allies.

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