IED blast kills soldier and village guard in southeast Turkey

Turkish soldiers on patrol in the country's Kurdish region. (File photo)

A soldier and village guard died on Friday in an improvised explosive device blast in Turkey’s southeastern Kurdish Van province.

Turkish media reported that the blast occurred at around 15:30 local time as soldiers involved in a military operation targeting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) searched the Kacik village in Van’s Catak district.

Turkey has stepped up operations against the Kurdish group since last year’s coup attempt in a bid to “eradicate” the militants.

Clashes have intensified in the Hakkari and Mardin provinces with PKK fighters attacking border stations as Turkey threatens a cross-border operation into Iraq.