10 Turkish soldiers, 10 PKK rebels killed in clashes

October 16th, 2008 - 5:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Ankara, Oct 16 (DPA) Ten Turkish soldiers and an equal number of Kurdish separatists were killed Wednesday night during separate clashes in southeast Turkey, officials announced Thursday.Four soldiers were killed in the province of Kavakli district of Hakkari province when their vehicle came under fire from separatists of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), the General Staff said in a short statement posted on its official website.

One soldier was also killed and 15 injured when a troop-carrying helicopter crashed on its reinforce efforts to capture the PKK militants responsible for the attack. The helicopter had suffered a mechanical fault, the statement said.

The General Staff said five PKK separatists were killed in fighting in the Derecik district of Hakkari and around Mt Cudi in Sirnak province.

The Dogan news agency also reported Thursday that five Turkish soldiers and five PKK militants were killed Wednesday night in separate clashes in the Cukurca and Sirnak districts of Hakkari.

Ankara blames the separatist group for the deaths of more than 35,000 people since the early 1980s when the PKK began its fight for independence for the mainly Kurdish-populated southeast of Turkey.

The PKK is considered by the US and the European Union to be a terrorist group.

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