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PKK rocket attack kills two soldiers in southeast Turkey

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Turkish army troops gather near the Syrian border at Hassa in Hatay province on January 21, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Two Turkish soldiers have been killed in a rocket attack launched by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group on military vehicles in southeastern Turkey.

"Members of the separatist terror group carried out a rocket attack in which two military personnel were martyred and one wounded," the Hakkari provincial governor's office said Wednesday, using Turkey's term for the PKK.

The office said the assault was carried out on Wednesday morning when the military vehicles were leaving a hillside base in Hakkari's Cukurca district bordering Iraq.

The attack is the latest in a series of assaults in southeastern Turkey this week.

Three Turkish soldiers were killed on Tuesday in bomb attacks blamed on the PKK in the southeastern provinces of Siirt and Sirnak.

The Turkish army has recently intensified attacks against the PKK in northern Iraq, especially in the Qandil Mountains.

The mountains are located roughly 40 kilometers southeast of the Turkish border in Iraq’s Erbil Province. Ankara believes the rugged region is being used as the headquarters of the PKK, which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on June 11 that his country would drain the “terror swamp” in Qandil.

Turkey has conducted frequent airstrikes against the PKK targets in northern Iraq. It previously carried out cross-border operations in the region in the 1990s and 2000s. A shaky ceasefire between Ankara and the PKK that had stood since 2013 was declared null and void by the militants in 2015 in the wake of a large-scale Turkish campaign against the group.

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