Turkish soldier killed in clashes with Kurdish rebels

AFP , Sunday 18 Sep 2011

Kurdish rebels kill on soldier in clashes with the Turkish army in the Turkey's southeast

One Turkish soldier was killed and two others were injured in clashes with Kurdish rebels in southeast Turkey, Anatolia news agency reported Sunday.

The late Saturday clashes between the Turkish troops and a group of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels broke out in a rural area in Genc district of Bingol province, its governor Mustafa Hakan said.

Police meanwhile detained 122 people on Sunday who tried to gather in downtown Istanbul to protest against the military crackdown on the PKK.

They also say PKK's jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan has not been allowed to meet his lawyers in his cell for almost two months.

There were tight security measures in the central Taksim square with police helicopters flying overhead. Istanbul's deputy police chief Mehmet Altinok said they had recovered 15 firebombs from the detainees, according to Anatolia.

Violence between the Turkish military and the PKK has escalated lately.

Turkish planes have repeatedly bombed PKK bases in northern Iraq since August 17, and more than a 100 rebels have been killed in the raids, according to official figures.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Ankara and much of the international community, took up arms in Kurdish-majority southeast Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed about 45,000 lives.

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