Explosion kills soldiers in Turkey.
At least nine soldiers have been killed and two others injured in a landmine blast in southeastern Turkey, a military commander has said.
The landmine, believed to have been planted by Kurdish fighters, exploded as a military vehicle was passing near the village of Abali in Diyarbakir province.
"A tank and an armoured personnel vehicle were patrolling for road security. An explosion happened after the tanks passed and nine died," said General Ilker while addressing a news conference in Ankara, the capital.
The general did not blame any particular group for the attack which took place at 06:30 (04:30 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) See UTC.
GMT - Universal Time 1 ) on Wednesday.
The military launched ground and air operations against members of the Kurdistan Workers Party Noun 1. Kurdistan Workers Party - a Marxist-Leninist terrorist group of Kurds trying to establish an independent Kurdish state in eastern Turkey
Kurdistan Labor Pary, Partiya Karkeran Kurdistan, PPK (PKK PKK Player-Killer Killer (multiplayer gaming)
PKK Partiya Karker Kurdistan (Kurdistan Worker's Party)
PKK Kudistan Isci Partisi (formerly Kurdistan Workers Party, now KADEK) ) following the blast.
The PKK, listed as a "terrorist" organisation by the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. and the European Union European Union (EU), name given since the ratification (Nov., 1993) of the Treaty of European Union, or Maastricht Treaty, to the
European Community , began an armed campaign in 1984 to carve out to make or get by cutting, or as if by cutting; to cut out.
See also: Carve an ethnic homeland in the predominantly Kurdish southeast Turkey.
The conflict has left about 40,000 people dead.
A poor showing by the ruling AK Party in the southeast in last month's municipal elections has put renewed pressure on the government to address the root cause of the conflict.
Kurds have long complained of discrimination against them by the state and have called for more political and cultural rights.
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In a separate development, a woman was arrested after she detonated a bomb at Bilkent University in Ankara, during a visit by Hikmet Sami Turk, a former justice minister.
The woman, who was carrying 1kg of explosives on her body, was wounded in the attack but nobody else was hurt.
Turk, who regularly visits the university, was unpopular with left-wing groups for his policies when he was in office and had received death threats.
A second suspected suicide bomber was detained in the capital hours later.
Anita McNaught, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Istanbul, said the attack on the military convoy in Diyarbakir was an "absolutely standard PKK-Turkish military exchange".
"That fits the pattern we have seen many times before. [But] the suicide [bomber] attacks in Ankara are much more unusual," she said.
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