In Turkey Kurdish rebels claim downing of military chopper

Outlawed Kurdish rebels claimed on Friday they had downed a military helicopter that crashed this week in southeastern Turkey killing 13 soldiers, a news agency reported.

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Turkish soldiers carry the coffin of Colonel Oguzhan Küçükdemirkol who was among 13 killed in the helicopter crash play

Turkish soldiers carry the coffin of Colonel Oguzhan Küçükdemirkol who was among 13 killed in the helicopter crash

(AFP)
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Outlawed Kurdish rebels claimed on Friday they had downed a military helicopter that crashed this week in southeastern Turkey killing 13 soldiers, a news agency reported.

"A Cougar type helicopter of the invader Turkish army ... was shot down while it was on the move in the area of Senoba," the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) said in a statement carried by the Firat news agency.

The PKK claim contradicted an army statement that the May 31 crash was a result of an accident according to preliminary findings and that an investigation was underway.

Turkey's chief of staff, General Hulusi Akar, had travelled to the region on the same night to carry out an inspection on site. Several ministers had also visited the area.

The Turkish army is battling Kurdish militants in the southeast in a relentless campaign to eradicate the PKK -- listed as a terror group by Turkey and its Western allies.

The Kurdish rebels claimed that the helicopter had carried soldiers who "were coordinating the operation" in the Kato mountain in the southeast.

The PKK has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 during which over 40,000 people have been killed.

The southeast has been battered by renewed fighting between Kurdish rebels and Turkish security forces since a fragile truce collapsed in 2015.

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