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18 People Killed in Car Bomb Attack in Southeastern Turkey

An ambulance with wounded soldiers and civilians arrives at a hospital in Semdinli, Turkey, near the border with Iraq, Oct. 9, 2016.

Ten Turkish soldiers and eight civilians were killed Sunday when suspected Kurdish militants detonated a car bomb outside a military checkpoint in Hakkari province in southeast Turkey.

Another 26 people, 10 soldiers and 16 civilians, were injured.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim blamed the Kurdistan Workers' Party for the suicide attack that detonated five tons of explosives.

"Unfortunately in Semdinli, in Hakkari [province], we have martyrs as a result of a suicide bombing attack by the vile terrorist organization," he said, referring to the PKK, Kurdistan Workers' Party. "We have citizens from the civilian population who have lost their lives.As of now, 10 of our soldiers have been martyred and and eight civilians."

The mid-morning attack occurred when a small truck approached the vehicle checkpoint and ignored an order to stop, prompting troops to open fire, authorities said.

The explosion left a crater 15 meters wide and 7 meters deep.

Turkey launched a military operation in response to the attack.

Turkish authorities imposed a temporary blackout on coverage of the attack, citing public order and national security reasons.

Some material for this report came from AP, AFP and Reuters.