May 18, 2016 / 2:13 PM / in 2 years

Four Turkish soldiers killed by roadside bomb: military

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Four Turkish soldiers were killed and nine wounded on Wednesday when a bomb was detonated as their vehicle traveled past in the mainly Kurdish southeast of the country, the military said.

The army deployed troops backed by helicopters to the area, located about 70 km (45 miles) from the town of Semdinli near the Iraqi border, to launch an operation in the wake of the attack, security sources said.

Explosives had been laid in the road in advance of the soldiers’ convoy, the military said on its website.

Security forces have been battling militants in the armed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the southeast since a ceasefire collapsed in July 2015, wrecking a peace process aimed at resolving one of Europe’s longest-running insurgencies.

Hundreds of soldiers and PKK fighters, as well as 500 or more civilians, have been killed in the violence.

Earlier in on Wednesday, a soldier was killed in Nusaybin, situated at the Syrian border some 500 km (310 miles) away, when militants opened fire on him. The town of 100,000 people has been under a round-the-clock curfew for more than two months as security forces try to root out militants.

Turkish warplanes hit PKK targets overnight in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq, killing at least 10 fighters, security sources said.

The military has been carrying out regular air strikes against positions of the outlawed group in mountainous northern Iraq, where it has camps near the Turkish border.

Reporting by Seyhmus Cakan; Writing by Ayla Jean Yackley; Editing by David Dolan/Mark Heinrich

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