7 soldiers killed, 25 wounded after ammunition explosion in southeast Turkey's Hakkari

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar (L), Chief of the General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler (C) and Turkish Land Forces Commander Gen. Ümit Dündar, visit a wounded soldier at the state hospital in Yüksekova district, Hakkari, SE Turkey, Nov. 10, 2018. (AA Photo)
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar (L), Chief of the General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler (C) and Turkish Land Forces Commander Gen. Ümit Dündar, visit a wounded soldier at the state hospital in Yüksekova district, Hakkari, SE Turkey, Nov. 10, 2018. (AA Photo)

At least seven Turkish soldiers were killed and 25 others were wounded after an ammunition explosion in southeastern Turkey's Hakkari province, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Saturday.

Erdoğan previously announced the casualty toll as four killed and 20 injured at a commemoration ceremony in capital Ankara to mark the 80th death anniversary of the Republic's founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

He later updated the casualty toll at a press conference held before the president's travel to Paris to attend the ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

An earlier statement released by the Defense Ministry said Friday that at least 25 Turkish soldiers were wounded and seven more are missing after an accidental explosion of defective ammunition at a base in the Şemdinli district near the border with Iran.

A statement based on initial information said the explosion occurred during artillery shooting at Süngü Tepe Base.

The 25 injured soldiers were quickly evacuated to the hospital and treatment began immediately. Efforts continue to locate the seven missing soldiers, the ministry said.

An investigation into the incident has been opened, the statement added.

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar visited the site later on Friday, accompanied by Turkish Chief of General Staff Yaşar Güler and the commander of Turkish Land Forces Ümit Dündar.

Akar also visited the soldiers at Hakkari State Hospital.

He said there were still ongoing explosions at the army base although they lessened. Due to explosions, a fire was still ongoing, he added.

"Our search and rescue works continue in the same way," Akar said.

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