ANKARA, Turkey – Kurdish rebels attacked two military vehicles in southeast Turkey, the president said Sunday and suggested that several Turkish soldiers were killed in the assault. The prime minister returned to the capital to chair an emergency security meeting.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a television interview that two armored military vehicles were targeted by the Kurdistan Workers' Party near the village of Daglica, in Hakkari province, bordering Iraq and Iran. He said an official statement would be made but indicated that several soldiers were killed in the attack.
"It was attack on armored vehicles with land mines," Erdogan said. "The information from our Chief of General Staff is very saddening."
He said Turkey's security forces would respond in a "different and determined" manner.
Firat news, an agency close to the rebels, quoted a rebel statement as saying 15 soldiers were killed in a "sabotage action" against a convoy of military vehicles. The claim couldn't be immediately verified.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu cut short a visit to the city of Konya, where he had watched an international soccer match, to convene a security meeting. No statement was issued at the end of the meeting.
The state-run Anadolu Agency said the military retaliated to the attack by launching an air operation, with F-4 and F-16 jets striking a dozen suspected PKK targets in the region.
The renewed fighting between the PKK and the security forces has killed about 200 people since July, including around 70 soldiers and police officers. The fighting has derailed a 2 1/2-year-old peace process with the Kurds.