38 killed in PKK attack on Turkish border posts

October 4th, 2008 - 10:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Ankara, Oct 4 (DPA) At least 38 people were killed when the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) launched a heavy attack on Turkish border posts, Turkey’s military leadership said here Saturday.The PKK launched the attack from northern Iraq, the military said, adding that 15 Turkish soldiers and 23 PKK fighters were killed.

Some 20 Turkish soldiers were injured and two soldiers were still unaccounted for.

The attack took place on the Aktutun border post in the southeastern province of Hakkari.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan broke off a trip to Central Asia after hearing of the attack.

“We will carry out our fight against terrorism with even more resolve,” Erdogan said.

Turkish media reports said the border post was attacked by 350 PKK fighters using heavy weapons, leading to the high number of casualties on the Turkish side.

In the past, PKK fighters have abducted Turkish soldiers and taken them into Iraqi territory.

Turkish fighter jets have bombed suspected PKK bases in northern Iraq several times in recent weeks.

In February, the Turkish Army claimed to have killed 240 PKK fighters in a week-long ground offensive in Iraq.

A total of 27 Turkish soldiers were killed in the February offensive, which was restricted to the Kurdish Autonomus Region of northern Iraq.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by the European Union and US.

It has been fighting for independence or greater autonomy for the Kurdish parts of Turkey since the 1980s.

The Turkish Army says that at least 35,000 people have died in the fighting since then.

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