Turkish armory explosion kills seven soldiers in southeast: Erdogan

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Seven Turkish soldiers were killed and 25 were wounded in an armory storage explosion in the southeastern province of Hakkari, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.

The explosion occurred at a base in Hakkari’s Semdinli region near the borders with Iran and Iraq, the Hakkari governor’s office said in a statement.

“We have seven martyrs and 25 wounded soldiers due to the explosion,” Erdogan said ahead of his departure to France for commemorative events on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. Officials are inspecting the site, he said.

The Defence Ministry had said on Friday that 25 soldiers were wounded in the incident while firing heavy ammunition.

Turkey has in recent months carried out air strikes on bases of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, especially its stronghold in the Qandil mountains, where Ankara has also threatened to carry out a ground offensive.

(Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Hugh Lawson)