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Turkey Bombs PKK After Militants Attack Convoy

  • VOA News

FILE - A Turkish F-16 fighter jet approaches the tarmac of Incirlik airbase in the southern Turkish city of Adana, July 4, 2012.

FILE - A Turkish F-16 fighter jet approaches the tarmac of Incirlik airbase in the southern Turkish city of Adana, July 4, 2012.

Turkish fighter jets responded overnight with airstrikes against Kurdish militants after the Kurdish fighters attacked a troop convoy near Turkey's border with Iraq and Iran.

The military said Monday F-4 and F-16 warplanes struck 13 targets of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.

Sunday's attack involved roadside bombs that heavily damaged two armored vehicles and left an unconfirmed number of Turkish troops dead.

Turkey's military says 16 soldiers killed were killed and six were wounded, making it the deadliest PKK attack since July when violence by both sides wrecked a two-year-old cease-fire.

Following the attack, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu cut short a trip to the city of Konya where he had gone to watch a football game and rushed back to Ankara for an emergency meeting with his security team.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed sadness about news of the attack, which he said happened while the soldiers were conducting a mine-sweeping operation.

Turkish riot police surround demonstrators during a protest against the latest security operations in Diyarbakir, Turkey, Sept. 6, 2015.

Turkish riot police surround demonstrators during a protest against the latest security operations in Diyarbakir, Turkey, Sept. 6, 2015.

"I hope that with the statement of the army a new strategy will be adopted in the fight against terror," Erdogan said. "We'll continue to fight against terror with determination."

Turkey launched what it called a new anti-terror offensive in late July with airstrikes targeting PKK targets in both southeastern Turkey and in northern Iraq.

The campaign drew some cautions from the United States and European Union, which both said that while Turkey had the right to defend itself, it should show restraint and pursue a "proportionate" response.

The PKK has been fighting Turkey since 1984 in a conflict that has left 40,000 people dead. Turkey, the U.S. and the EU consider the militants to be a terrorist group

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