ISTANBUL: Three Turkish soldiers were killed and 11 wounded in clashes with Islamic State (IS) jihadists in Syria on Wednesday as the military faces increasing resistance from the extremists in a battle to take a key town, reports said.
The IS-held town of Al Bab, 25 kilometres (15 miles) from the Turkish border, has become the main target of the army's more than three-month campaign inside Syria in support of pro-Ankara Syrian rebels.
One of the wounded was in a serious condition, the Dogan news agency reported. It said the deaths came in clashes with IS jihadists which were ongoing.
The Amaq news agency, affiliated to IS, said a suicide attack was carried out against the Syrian rebels and Turkish troops west of Al Bab, without giving further details.
After the lightning speed of the earlier campaign that saw the border town of Jarabulus taken on the first day of the offensive, the Turkish army has suffered increasing casualties in the fight for Al Bab.
Around two dozen Turkish soldiers are believed to have lost their lives since Ankara launched its operation Euphrates Shield in August, with most of the deaths blamed on IS attacks.