ANF 20.05.2010- A soldier called Ş.K. told ANF the true "signature" of the mine explosion in Başkale last September which killed 15 soldiers. According to his statement the mines were laid by gendarme, not by PKK as reported. Right after the explosion the dying and injured soldiers were recorded on video by Regimental Command and the video was sent to General Staff. Demining soldiers were brought from Van 6. Border Regimental Command.
A soldier called Ş.K. told ANF the true "signature" of the mine explosion in Başkale last September which killed 15 soldiers. According to his statement the mines were laid by gendarme, not by PKK as reported. Right after the explosion the dying and injured soldiers were recorded on video by Regimental Command and the video was sent to General Staff. Demining soldiers were brought from Van 6. Border Regimental Command.
Ş.K spoke said: “The scene was at zero-point to Iran border and there were wire fences. We could see the Iranian army posts with naked eye. On the day of the event, demining soldiers came from van 6. Border Regimental Command to demine the area of the border road to be made in Kilik Hill region. The mines had been laid by the gendarme units that were deployed there before. A team of 16 people, among them being graded soldiers and demining soldiers, went to Kilik Hill before midday. Meanwhile, we were carrying out environmental safety disposition because we were 100 meters close to the scene. It was after midday when a big explosion happened and when I saw flitting arms and legs. We went to the scene after the explosion.”
The soldier recalled that "Many of the soldiers were alive but some of them lost their legs and arms. The brains of some of them burst, a view which made many soldiers vomit. With radios, we informed firstly Sultan Çayırı Post and then the Border Batt. I didn’t know the soldiers because they were from a different regiment. A lieutenant - I guess from his grade - was scattered into the mine field. He had lost nearly half of his body but was still alive. He called his wife and family by phone and asked them to give him their blessings. When we went there, he could still speak and he said to us ‘Don’t come, this is a mine field’. So we decided to take care of others. A specialized sergeant had lost his head, he had already died. We covered his body with clothes and looked at other injured ones. But we didn’t have much possibility because it was a mine field."
The soldier added that "Later a helicopter came to the scene. The lieutenant was still alive but he was in the mine field. With the help of mine detectors, two soldiers, wearing anti-exposure suits, were able to reach him with many difficulties and took him out of there. The last news about him was that he had lost his life at the hospital he was taken to. Then, we covered the injured soldiers and their separated body parts with blankets and carried them to the helicopter although many of them were about to die. Many eyewitnesses there had already vomited and stepped back."
According to the soldier "The armless, legless and injured soldiers, who were from various cities of Turkey, were in agony, dying. We learned their names afterward. Meanwhile, a helicopter was called to the scene. The new coming soldiers recorded video when the corpses were still there. They told us that they will send the video to the General staff.”
At this point the soldier said: "I was surprised when I heard the news on television saying ‘Three of our soldiers have become martyrs because of the remote-controlled mines laid by PKK.’ In fact, the mines had been laid a few years ago on Kilik Hill by the gendarme and they were aimed at both the smugglers and PKK. Anyway, Kilik Hill is amid three army-posts; which means that PKK can never lay mines there. In addition, there are thermals against the smugglers, where we could easily see when something happened. The road construction was laid off following the explosion. But now if you look, you will see that the new road wasn’t made there; it is in Kubat Hill region, nearby."