DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, (Reuters) – Kurdish fighters killed 13 Turkish soldiers and seven militants died on Thursday in the worst clash since the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) ended a ceasefire in February.
Turkey’s chief of staff said in a statement that grenades thrown by the militants ignited a fire in the heavily forested area where the clash occurred and 13 soldiers died in the blaze. It said seven soldiers were wounded.
The pro-Kurdish Firat news agency disputed the official version with a report that quoted a witness saying a Turkish warplane had targeted the militants in an air strike which also killed the soldiers positioned nearby. It gave no death toll.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan met the army and intelligence chiefs as well as the interior minister and head of the paramilitary gendarmerie in Ankara.