Turkey says 16 Kurdish PKK rebels killed in clashes after convoy attack

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey’s Kurdish region, REUTERS – Turkish troops have killed 16 Kurdish guerrillas in an operation in the Kurdish region in south-east Turkey targeting militants who launched a bomb attack on a military convoy that killed five soldiers, the local governor’s office said on Thursday, Reuters reported.

The clashes are part of a growing cycle of violence in the remote, mountainous province of Hakkari bordering Iraq’s Kurdistan and Iranian Kurdistan – a development which Turkish officials and analysts are linking to the deepening conflict in Syria.

Five soldiers were killed and seven wounded in that attack, the Hakkari governor’s office said in a statement. It said operations against the militants were continuing. The conflict is focused in the mountainous region bordering Iraq and Iran, but the PKK has also carried out attacks in Turkish cities. Officials blamed it for a car bombing near a Turkish police station on Monday which killed nine people in the city of Gaziantep, near Turkey’s south-eastern border with Syrian Kurdistan.Turkish officials blamed the PKK for the attack, but the rebels did not take responsibility for the assault.