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Breaking: Avalanche kills five soldiers in southeastern Turkey

January 21, 2018; 9:02 AM

At least five people were killed when an avalanche struck a group of Turkish soldiers conducting military operations in southeastern Turkey on Sunday.

Twelve other soldiers were injured by the avalanche, which occurred near the town of Hizan in Turkey's southeastern mountainous province of Bitlis, according to the Associated Press.

The injuries of the soldiers rescued from the mountain via helicopters were not serious.

"The weather into Monday and much of Tuesday looks dry, so that is by far the best time for recovery efforts," AccuWeather Meteorologist Adam Douty said.

Crews in the region will have to be careful for additional avalanches after a potent storm unloaded heavy snow across the mountains of southeastern Turkey late last week, according to Douty.

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Additional snow and a continued risk for avalanches is expected later this week.

"While not as potent as the storm from last week, a pair of storms will bring more snow to the mountains of southeastern Turkey after Tuesday," Douty said. "The fresh snow may further increase the avalanche danger."

"One round of snow is expected Tuesday night into Wednesday, followed by a second Thursday into Friday," he said. "While there could be a break between the two storms, it will be short and there still may be lingering light snowfall."

Officials stated that the soldiers were conducting operations against Kurdish rebel group, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, according to the Associated Press.

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