PKK Attack in Turkey Kills Two Soldiers, Wounds 24 Others

The father of late Turkish soldier Hamza Yildirim reacts in front of his son's flag-draped coffin during his funeral ceremony at Kocatepe Mosque in Ankara, Turkey, on Saturday. ADEM ALTAN / AFP - Getty Images

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By The Associated Press

ANKARA, Turkey — Kurdish rebels on Sunday detonated an explosives-laden agricultural vehicle at a military police station in eastern Turkey, killing two soldiers and wounding 24 others, authorities said.

Militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, used two tons of explosives to attack the station on a highway near the town of Dogubayazit in Agri province, close to Turkey's border with Iran, causing extensive damage to the building, the regional governor's office said in a statement. The wounded soldiers were hospitalized but there was no word on their conditions.

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In a separate attack, one soldier was killed and four others were injured when their military vehicle hit a land mine believed to have been laid by the rebels in the southeastern Mardin province, the local governor's office said Sunday.

Violence has flared in Turkey in the past 10 days, shattering a fragile peace process launched in 2012 with the Kurds. The government has conducted almost daily airstrikes at PKK bases in northern Iraq while the rebels have attacked Turkey's security forces. The airstrikes began as the U.S. and Turkey announced the outlines of a deal to help push ISIS back from a strip of territory it controls along the Syrian-Turkish border, replacing it with more-moderate rebels backed by Washington and Ankara.

At least 24 people have been killed in the renewed violence in Turkey, most of them soldiers.

Turkey's allies have supported Turkey's fight against the PKK, which they consider a terror organization. But they have also urged Turkey to exercise restraint and to return to the peace process. Turkey's campaign against the PKK is complicating the U.S. war on ISIS militants, which has relied heavily on Syrian Kurdish fighters affiliated with Turkey's Kurdish rebels.