Soldiers and search & rescue teams arrive at the scene after a Cougar-type military helicopter crashed in the rural area of eastern Bitlis province’s Tatvan district in Turkey on Thursday. — Anadolu Agency
ISTANBUL: Nine Turkish soldiers were killed and four others wounded when their military helicopter crashed in the southeast of the country on Thursday, the defence ministry said.
Television images from the crash site showed the ground blanketed in snow and visibility hampered by thick clouds in the mountainous region.
Ruling AKP party lawmaker Tolga Agar, who sits on the Turkish parliament’s defence committee, tweeted that Lt Gen Osman Erbas was among the dead.
The defence ministry did not immediately confirm the senior commander’s death in a statement which said contact with the helicopter was lost in the Bitlis province 30 minutes after it took off.
“Nine heroic soldiers fell as martyrs and four were injured in the accident,” the defence ministry said.