3 dead in clashes with Kurd rebels

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Copy of iol pic wld Turkey Kurds~2

Diyarbakir, Turkey -

One soldier and two Kurdish rebels were killed Friday in Turkey's southeast in clashes that erupted after the rebels attacked a military post, security sources told AFP.

Members from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) ambushed troops patrolling a Turkish army base in Diyarbakir city, killing the soldier and wounding five others.

Two Kurdish militants were killed after Turkish forces returned fire, the sources said.

On Thursday, a car exploded outside a military barracks in southeastern city of Hatay near Syria, slightly injuring four people. The attack was blamed on the rebels by local authorities.

Earlier this week, violence between the Turkish and Kurdish sides killed nine people, one police officer and eight rebels, in Sirnak province, which borders Syria and Iraq.

The clashes follow an escalation of Kurdish rebel attacks targeting Turkey's security forces in the southeast, triggering full-fledged military operations in the region.

On Sunday, Turkish troops backed by jets launched an assault against Kurdish rebels in the Beytussebap district of the same Sirnak province, killing eight rebels.

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is labelled as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and much of the international community.

About 45 000 people have been killed since the party took up arms for autonomy in Kurdish-majority southeastern Turkey in 1984. - Sapa-AFP


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