Erdogan Says 7 Turkish Soldiers Died in Hakkari Blast

(Bloomberg) -- Seven Turkish soldiers were killed and 25 soldiers hurt, including four severely, in a blast at a military base in Hakkari province Friday, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, in an incident authorities have said was probably accidental.

Erdogan provided updated figures at a midday press conference Saturday following a speech in the morning that counted four deaths and 20 injuries. Faulty ammunition is believed to have caused explosion at the installation, and “an investigation has started into the accident,” the Turkish Defense Ministry said Friday.

The province, in Turkey’s southeast along the border with Iraq and Iran, has been the site since 1984 of clashes between the country’s army and fighters from the Kurdish separatist group PKK, including a roadside bombing blamed on the militants that killed four soldiers in October 2017.

In his televised speech on Saturday, Erdogan outlined the country’s “efforts against terrorism,” and said Turkey will “bring peace and security soon” to the eastern Euphrates region of northern Syria, where other ethnic Kurdish militias backed by the U.S. are operating.

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