Clashes leaves 13 Kurdish rebels, one Turkish soldier dead - Emirates24|7

Clashes leaves 13 Kurdish rebels, one Turkish soldier dead

Thirteen Kurdish rebels and one Turkish soldiers were killed on Thursday in clashes in southeastern Turkey, Anatolia news agency reported, quoting local officials.

One soldier was killed and six wounded overnight when rebels from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) opened fire on an army unit near Cukurca, close to the Iraqi border, Hakkari provincial governor Muammer Turker told Anatolia.

"Our forces fired back and fighting went on for about an hour and a half. The terrorists then escaped under cover of darkness, while we recovered the bodies of four of them," he added.

A second clash, also overnight, occurred in Ilica, Bingol province, where security forces stormed a house occupied by rebels, local authorities told Anatolia.

"Three members of the organisation were captured and the bodies of nine others found," local authorities said, adding that assault rifles, grenades and explosives were recovered from the house.

Clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish rebels have picked up over the past few months.

In October, Turkey launched a large-scale air and surface offensive against rebels in the southeast of the country and in northern Iraq after 24 soldiers were killed in an ambush.

Just a week ago Turkish planes carried out new bombing raids on rebels positions in northern Iraq.

The PKK took up arms in southeastern Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed about 45,000 lives. It is labelled a terrorist outfit by Ankara and much of the international community.

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