Helicopter crash kills 17 soldiers in Turkey

Last updated 00:04 11/11/2012

Relevant offers

Europe

Chef Gianfranco Vissani compares vegans to a sect and says they should be 'killed' Jeremy Corbyn's train-too-full claims challenged Russians suspected to have hacked New York Times, other US news media: reports Glasgow granny belts out Billy Joel while pole-dancing on a bus UK man's lung illness linked to mould in his bagpipes NZ pushes, but more silence as UN Security Council fails to reach agreement on Syria Norway makes penguin Sir Nils a brigadier Boy killed in Sweden hand grenade attack Woman stabs three on bus in Belgium in unexplained attack France's former president Nicolas Sarkozy to run in 2017 election

A Turkish military helicopter carrying soldiers on a mission against Kurdish rebels crashed because of bad weather on Saturday, killing all 17 troops onboard, officials said.

Thirteen soldiers and four military crewmembers were killed in the crash in a mountainous part of Pervari district in Siirt province, in southeastern Turkey, where the rebel Kurdistan Worker's Party is fighting for self-rule.

President Abdullah Gul said the soldiers were on their way "to help their friends" in an operation against the rebels who have escalated attacks in recent months, adding the incident would not deter Turkey from its determination to fight the rebels.

The provincial governor, Ahmet Aydin, blamed the crash on heavy fog and ruled out an attack by the rebel group.

"The weather during the transportation (of troops) was bad. There was extreme rain. The helicopter crashed into rocks because of the fog," Aydin said in televised statements.

"The incident was the result of a crash and any kind of an attack is out of the question."

The Kurdish rebels have been fighting since the 1980s and they seek more rights for Kurds, including autonomy in the mostly Kurdish southeast of the country.

Turkey and its Western allies categorize the rebels, known by the acronym PKK, as a terrorist group.

Several days ago, Turkish media reported that Turkish soldiers were airlifted into northern Iraq for a brief operation against suspected rebels, who have bases there.

There were no reports of casualties on that mission. Turkey periodically carries out artillery and air strikes on PKK positions in northern Iraq, but reports of cross-border incursions by troops are rare.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content