Turkish military convoy hit by explosives in southeast

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 22, 2012 9:37 AM
Turkish military convoy hit by explosives in southeast

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - A convoy carrying Turkish soldiers in the mainly Kurdish southeast was hit by four remote-controlled explosive devices on Wednesday, security sources said, the latest sign of escalating violence in the restive region.

The convoy was travelling in the Semdinli region of Hakkari province bordering Iraq when it was hit, security sources said. There were no immediate reports of any deaths. The army sent in troop reinforcements and helicopter gunships in response.

The attack follows a car bombing on Monday that killed nine people, including children, and wounded more than 60 others in the southern town of Gaziantep, more than 600 km to the west.

The government blamed that attack on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has denied involvement.

Roadside bomb attacks by the PKK are common in the southeast, scene of a 28-year conflict between the military and the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

The militants have stepped up attacks in recent months, and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of backing the rebels, underscoring fears that the chaos in Syria could destabilize neighboring countries.

(Reporting by Seyhmus Cakan; Writing by Ayla Jean Yackley; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Alison Williams)