TUNCELI, Turkey (Reuters) – Four Turkish security personnel and two Kurdish separatists were killed early on Sunday after rebels launched a rocket attack on a military station in eastern Turkey, a security source told Reuters.
The initial attack occurred around 1 a.m. (6 a.m. EDT) in Bingol province, when around 15-20 members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) shot rockets and long range firearms at the security headquarters, the source said.
The separatists fled after two of their members were killed in an ensuing firefight with security personnel.
The military has launched a search operation, backed by helicopters, to find the group of separatists.
Media reported two soldiers were also killed early on Saturday after separatists fired on a separate military base in the southeastern province of Silopi.
Analysts say the PKK, weakened by Turkey’s military attacks on its hideouts in northern Iraq, have stepped up attacks on civilian and military targets.
The PKK launched its armed insurgency against the Turkish state in 1984 with the aim of creating an ethnic homeland in mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey. Some 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
Turkey, like the European Union and Washington, considers the group an terrorist organization.