Nine Turkish soldiers, including a high-ranking officer, died yesterday when the helicopter carrying them crashed in southeastern Turkey, the Defense Ministry said, citing an “accident”. “Nine heroic soldiers were martyred and four were injured in this accident,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that it had occurred in the Bitlis region. Help was trying to transport the injured to hospital, the ministry added, without giving details of the seriousness of their condition. The reasons for the accident were not immediately specified, but according to images broadcast by Turkish television channels, the region where it occurred was bathed in thick fog.