Turkish soldiers killed in PKK attack on military police station

Twenty-four soldiers were also injured in the blast, reportedly caused by an agricultural vehicle laden with two tonnes of explosives

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The Independent Online

Two Turkish soldiers have been killed after Kurdish fighters detonated an explosives-laden tractor at a military police station in eastern Turkey.

Twenty-four soldiers were also injured in the blast, the Turkish authorities said on Sunday.

The attack, carried out by fighters from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), occurred near the town of Dogubayazit in Agri province, close to the border with Iran.

Reports said the blast was caused by a tractor carrying two tonnes of explosives.

In a separate incident in southeastern Mardin province, another soldier was killed and four others wounded, the local governor's office said.

The men were in a military vehicle that hit a land mine the authorities said had been laid by PKK fighters.

There has been a sharp rise in violence in Turkey in recent weeks, with the government conducting near-daily air raids on PKK bases in northern Iraq, while PKK fighters target Turkish security forces.

The situation has left a fragile peace process, initiated in 2012, in tatters.

Turkish airstrikes began on 24 July, after Turkey allowed US-led coalition forces to use bases in the country in the fight against Isis fighters in Syria.

The leader of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition has accused Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, of using the war against Isis as a cover for attacks on Kurdish targets.

So far the majority of Turkish air raids have been against the PKK rather than Isis forces.

(Additional reporting by agencies)

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