World Bulletin / News Desk
Speaking to press at an official funeral ceremony on Tuesday, the Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel refuted allegations that a military helicopter that crashed on Sunday was a result of a militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) attack.
A total of five Turkish soldiers were killed and seven others injured late on Sunday when a military helicopter crashed in the southeastern province of Hakkari, near the Iraqi border. The Sikorsky S-70 helicopter crashed after it appeared to lose power during a landing in a remote, mountainous area of Hakkari's Dağlıca district, the General Staff revealed in a statement on its official website soon after the crash occurred.
However, a Turkish daily reported on Monday that there were claims the helicopter crashed after PKK militants detonated a remote-controlled land mine where the helicopter landed. Military chief Özel said the helicopter crashed due to a technical failure and that such allegations are PKK propaganda.
The PKK, which is fighting for autonomy in Turkey's mainly Kurdish Southeast, was founded on Marxist ideology. The conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives. The group is labeled a terrorist organization by the European Union and the United States, which has supplied Predator drones to assist Turkey.Last Mod: 24 Temmuz 2012, 16:09