Turkey: Nine troops killed in Kurdish ambush

Kurdish rebels killed nine Turkish soldiers in an ambush in the southeast of the country, according to television reports.

Updated: Aug 18, 2011, 00:07 AM IST

Ankara: Kurdish rebels killed nine Turkish
soldiers on Wednesday in an ambush in the southeast of the country,
according to television reports.

The attack took place in the Cukurca region of Hakkari
province, close to the border with Iraq, CNN-Turk and NTV
reported, adding that the toll could rise as several other
troops were seriously wounded.

Local sources, however, said seven soldiers were killed,
adding that two mine explosions in two different spots caused
the incident. They said an operation was launched against
rebels immediately after the attack, adding that many
ambulances were sent to the scene to treat the injured.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier said Turkey`s
"patience is running out" and signalled tougher measures
against rebels after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, without
elaborating.

The separatist Kurdistan
Workers` Party claimed responsibility for an ambush today in
which Ankara said nine Turkish soldiers were killed.

"Our forces have carried out an ambush against the Turkish
army ... on the border," Doldar Hammo, a spokesman for the
Kurdistan Workers` Party (PKK) rebels which have bases in
northern Iraq, told AFP.

"Several Turkish soldiers were killed in the clashes,
which have been continuing for two hours until now," he said,
without giving other details.

Turkey`s Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz said earlier that
Kurdish rebels killed nine soldiers in an ambush in the
southeast of the country.

"They (rebels) are testing our patience... We`ll retaliate
in kind," Yilmaz said, quoted by Turkish media.

The attack took place in the Cukurca region of Hakkari
province, close to the border with Iraq, the minister said.
The toll could rise as several other troops were seriously
wounded, CNN-Turk and NTV reported.

On June 16, the PKK, blacklisted as a terrorist group by
Turkey as well as the European Union and the United States,
killed 13 soldiers in Diyarbakir, another southeastern
province.

Turkey`s conflict with the PKK has claimed more than
45,000 lives since it broke out in 1984.

PTI