ANKARA (Web Desk/APP) – Two Turkish soldiers were killed and four others were injured by a car bomb near the southeastern city of Diyarbakir overnight, official sources said on Sunday.
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The attack came after Turkey bombed Kurdish separatist camps in northern Iraq – the first such strikes since a peace process began in 2012.
The explosion happened late on Saturday in the town of Lice in Diyarbakir, the province governor’s office said.
The military blamed Kurdish militants for the attack and said operations in the area were ongoing. However, no group has claimed responsibility for the latest attack.
The Kurdish Workers Party, or PKK, threatened to break off a two-year ceasefire following Saturday’s raids.
On Saturday, Turkish fighter jets and ground forces hit Islamic State militants in Syria and PKK camps in Iraq in a campaign Ankara said would help create a “safe zone” across swathes of northern Syria.
There has been a wave of unrest after a suicide bomb in Suruc, blamed on so-called Islamic State (IS) killed 32 people – mainly university students planning to carry out aid work in Kobane, Syria.
Read more: Over 25 killed in Turkey suicide attack
It has included protests and confrontations with police in Ankara and Istanbul.
The PKK’s military wing killed two Turkish police officers on Wednesday, claiming they had collaborated with IS in the bombing in Suruc.
The US has called on both sides to avoid violence, but stressed that Turkey has the right to defend itself against attacks by Kurdish rebels.
A BBC’s Turkey correspondent Mark Lowen reports Kurds say the Turkish government has failed to stop IS, seeing the group as a useful tool against its Kurdish enemy, the PKK.
He says sporadic attacks including one on a police station in Istanbul have raised the spectre of a return to conflict between the Turkish state and Kurdish separatists that blighted the country for 30 years and killed 40,000 people.
The strikes against the PKK have raised concerns about the future of the shaky Kurdish peace process, which was started in late 2012 but has stalled recently.
The United States condemns recent attacks by the PKK in Turkey, a senior US diplomat said on Twitter, adding there was “no connection” between Turkey’s strikes against the PKK and a deal to intensify the fight against Islamic State.
“There is no connection between these air strikes against PKK and recent understandings to intensify US-Turkey cooperation against ISIL,” Brett McGurk, the deputy special presidential envoy for the coalition to counter Islamic State, said on Twitter.