Diyarbakir, Turkey -

Kurdish rebels armed with machine-guns and rocket launchers attacked a security complex in southeastern Turkey overnight, triggering fierce clashes that left about 29 people dead, local sources said on Monday.

“Nine security agents were killed and eight others wounded,” said Vahdettin Ozkan, governor of Sirnak province, while other local sources said about 20 members of the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) had also died.

Ozkan said a group of rebels attacked the security complex at Beytussebap, killing the nine members of the security forces. Police and soldiers returned fire, triggering fierce clashes.

The PKK has stepped up its assaults against Turkish security forces in recent months, with Turkish officials and the local media linking the surge to the conflict raging in neighbouring Syria.

The conflict with the PKK, considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey and much of the international community, has claimed about 45 000 lives over nearly three decades. - Sapa-AFP