Two Turkish soldiers are confirmed dead and at least 24 wounded in a suicide attack in the eastern province of Agri.
According to Turkish officials, the attack was carried out by the Kurdish Workers Party, or PKK. The suicide blast followed a week of fighting in the area between the PKK and security forces.
The separatists placed a truck with two tonnes of explosives outside a military police station early on Sunday, the governor’s office for Agri province said. According to the Turkish state news agency, Anadolu, the vehicle in question was a tractor.
Four more soldiers are in life-threatening condition. The PKK has so far not commented on its responsibility.
In the recent unrest which began on July 24th, 260 Kurdish fighters have been killed in Turkey and northern Iraq, according to Turkish state media.
On Saturday, the Turkish military bombed the Zargala village in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, killing at least nine civilians, among them a pregnant woman, according to local media.
The Kurdish fighters have attacked Turkish military and security with gunfire and mines, killing at least 24 in over the course of the past week, Al Jazeera reports. Sunday’s attack would, however, be the first suicide bomb used by the PKK in the recent clashes.
Ankara, as well as NATO and the US, consider the left-wing PKK a terrorist organisation. The party has been fighting in an armed uprising for an autonomous Kurdish state for over 30 years.
The PKK are leading, together with the YGP and PYD (aligned Kurdish fighters in Syria) and Kurdish forces in Iraq, the ground battle against the Islamic State, or ISIS. Turkey maintains friendly relations only with the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq. The PKK has accused Turkey of collaborating with ISIS in order to contain Kurdish separatist movements.