Turkish armoury explosion kills seven soldiers in southeast

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Twenty-five soldiers who were also wounded have been transferred to hospital and an investigation has been launched

The incident took place at a base in Hakkari's Semdinli region, which is located near the borders with Iran and Iraq (Reuters)
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Saturday 10 November 2018 14:16 UTC
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Seven Turkish soldiers have been killed and 25 wounded in an armoury storage explosion in the southeastern province of Hakkari, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.

"We have seven martyrs and 25 wounded soldiers due to the explosion," Erdogan said ahead of his departure to France for commemorative events on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.

The defence ministry had initially said on Friday that 25 soldiers had been wounded in an accident in Hakkari that occurred while firing heavy ammunition.

The wounded were transferred to hospital and are being treated, the country's defence ministry said, adding that an investigation has been launched into the incident.

The incident took place at a base in Hakkari's Semdinli region, which is located near the borders with Iran and Iraq, the Hakkari governor's office said in a statement.

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Turkey has in recent months carried out air strikes on bases of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, especially its stronghold in the Qandil mountains, where Ankara has also threatened to carry out a ground offensive.

More than 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK launched its insurgency in Turkey in 1984. It is designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Turkey has launched several offensives in Syria and Iraq since 2016 to repel fighters belonging to Kurdish armed groups.