Two Turkish soldiers were killed Wednesday in an attack by Kurdish militants in rural southeastern Turkey close to the border with Iraq, the army said.

Another soldier was wounded after a handmade bomb was detonated by the “separatist terrorist organization” – Turkey’s official term for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – in the province of Hakkari, the military said in a statement.

The PKK has waged a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state and is classed as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies.

Fighting between the Turkish security forces and the PKK has intensified since a two-year ceasefire collapsed in 2015.

The Turkish military often conducts air raids against PKK militants who have bases in the Qandil mountain area of Iraq, and troops sometimes stage incursions into the area.

Ankara on Jan. 20 launched a cross-border air and ground operation in northern Syria supporting Syrian rebels against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia.

Turkey says the YPG is a “terrorist” offshoot of the PKK, though the militia has been working with the United States against Daesh (ISIS) in Syria.

Source: National News Agency