A roadside bomb killed 12 policemen in eastern Turkey after Turkish jets carried out airstrikes against Kurdish rebels and their camps in northern Iraq, state media reports said Tuesday.

Kurdish rebels were suspected of detonating a bomb in the eastern province of Igdir as a police vehicle escorting a group of customs officials to a border gate was passing by, the Anadolu Agency reported. Several other officers were injured in the attack in the province which borders Armenia, the agency said.

The customs officials were going to a border crossing between Turkey and the Azerbaijani enclave of Nakhchivan, following the kidnapping of a group of customs officials by the Kurdish rebels. The officials were released unharmed on Tuesday.

The attack on the policemen comes amid a sharp escalation of violence between Turkey’s security forces and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.

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