17 killed as military helicopter crashes in Turkey

AFP Photo / Bulent Kiilic
A military helicopter crashed in southeastern Turkey's Siirt province, killing 13 special forces soldiers and four crewmembers, Turkish officials reported.

The helicopter crashed amid heavy fog in a mountainous area, killing everyone on board, Siirt Governor Ahmet Aydin reported. "We have reached the bodies," Aydin said. "The cause of the crash is a hundred percent the fog."

Local authorities investigating the crash, which took place in an area where the rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party is active, ruled out a militant attack as the cause.

The Turkish troops were being deployed in the area for an operation against the rebels, whose attacks have escalated in the past month, reported state TV channel TRT.

Kurdish rebels have clashed with the Turkish army in the region since the 1980s.