Two Turkish troops killed in clash with Kurdish rebels

AFP , Wednesday 1 Aug 2012

Demonstrators, holding a portrait of jailed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan, walk past a burning mobile telephone relay station in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey, March 18, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Two Turkish soldiers were killed Wednesday in a clash with Kurdish rebels in the country's southeast, according to local officials.

The troops were killed in an early-morning bomb attack on troops sent to Lice town in southeastern Diyarbakir province to push back members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Diyarbakir governor Mustafa Toprak said.

Wednesday's attack follows similar bomb assaults on Turkish security forces in the same zone, which resulted in the death of four soldiers last week.

Several Kurdish rebels were also killed in hot pursuit following the ambushes, according to local security sources.

Ankara has recently launched a large ground offensive against the rebels, whose activity increases in spring and summer, as the mountainous zone allows easier passage from their hideouts across

Turkish borders in the southeast. The PKK, considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey and much of the international community, took up arms in Kurdish-majority southeast Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.


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