A Turkish reconnaissance aircraft has crashed in a mountain in eastern Turkey for unknown reasons, killing seven people.
“Our teams have informed us that we have lost seven heroes, two of them are the pilots,” Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu announced in a press conference in the Eastern Province of Van, where the incident occurred, early on Thursday.
According to the minister, whose comments were carried by Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency, the plane crashed at an altitude of 2,200 meters on Mount Artos.
The aircraft had been missioned for surveillance in Van and Hakkari provinces since Monday.
The aircraft last made contact when it was in the vicinity of Baskale district. Thirteen minutes later, it disappeared from the radar, according to Soylu.
Broadcaster NTV said that investigators were working to determine the cause of the incident.
Turkish security forces have been fighting members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the largely-Kurdish southeastern Turkey. The conflict has so far killed more than 40,000 people.
The PKK, which Turkey has designated as a terrorist group, has been seeking to create an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.