Report: Seven Kurdish Rebels Killed in Turkey


The Turkish army killed seven Kurdish rebels and seized explosives in clashes in a southern province on Friday, Anatolia news agency quoted officials as saying.

Acting on a tip-off that militants had sneaked in from neighboring Syria, the soldiers confronted the group in a rural area in the Mediterranean province of Hatay, the agency reported.

The militants responded with fire to calls to surrender and seven were killed in the ensuing fighting, it said.

The governor's office said in a statement the militants belonged to the "separatist terrorist organization," using the officialese for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a bloody 26-year separatist war on Ankara.

The security forces also seized rifles, hand grenades, rocket-launcher munitions and four kilograms of plastic explosives, the statement, carried by Anatolia, added.

The PKK in the past has carried out other attacks in Hatay, which is close to but not part of the mainly-Kurdish southeast.

Last year, the rebels fired rockets at a naval base in Hatay, killing seven soldiers.

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