ISTANBUL - Kurdish militants in southeast Turkey ambushed a military convoy yesterday with a quadruple bombing attack that killed seven soldiers and one guard, wounded at least 14, and infuriated Turkish leaders, who promised a punishing response and said their patience with the long-simmering Kurdish insurgency had run out.
Hours later, Turkish news services said at least 15 Turkish warplanes had bombed suspected Kurdish insurgent positions inside northern Iraq along Turkey’s border, where the militant Kurdistan Workers Party maintains a network of bases and hideouts. There was no immediate official confirmation of the Turkish bombing assault.
The convoy ambush, in Turkey’s Kurdish-populated Hakkari Province, was the deadliest single attack on the Turkish military since it began a new crackdown in mid-July on the Kurdish autonomy movement, a step that officials said was justified by an insurgent attack on July 13 that killed 13 Turkish soldiers.
In all, at least 30 Turkish soldiers have died in the past month of fighting with the Kurdish insurgents, who seek autonomy for Turkey’s nearly 12 million Kurds.
The Anatolia News Agency of Turkey said that militants detonated four explosions on the Hakkari-Cukurca highway as the convoy was passing.