APA – At least 11 Turkish soldiers, including a senior officer, were martyred and two others injured as a military helicopter crashed in eastern Turkey on Thursday, the National Defense Ministry said.
“The number of our martyrs has increased to 11. We wish Allah’s mercy upon our martyrs and extend our condolences to their precious families,” the ministry said on Twitter.
In an earlier statement, the ministry said 10 soldiers lost their lives and three soldiers were injured in the crash in Bitlis province.
Later, one of the soldiers succumbed to his wounds.
The contact with the Cougar-type military helicopter, which took off from the eastern Bingol province for the Tatvan district of Bitlis at 1.55 p.m. local time [1055GMT], was lost at 2.25 p.m. [1125GMT].
“The efforts are underway for the transfer of our injured personnel to the hospital,” the ministry said.
Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli announced on Twitter that Commander of the 8th Corps Lt. Gen. Osman Erbas was among the martyrs.
National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar along with Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Guler and Land Forces Commander Gen. Umit Dundar visited the site of the crash.