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'Thirteen die' in fresh Turkey Kurdish clashes

06 July 10 15:06
Turkish helicopter in south-eastern Turkey, 19 June 2010

Three soldiers and at least 10 Kurdish militants have been killed after an attack on a military outpost in south-east Turkey, the military says.

Three soldiers were wounded in the fighting, according to security sources.

Attacks by the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) and clashes with government forces have increased in recent months afer the failure of a peace drive.

Some 80 soldiers have been killed this year, Reuters news agency reports.

Military helicopters flew in troop reinforcements to search for the remaining PKK rebels, who launched the attack in a rural area in Hakkari province, near the border with Iraq.

In response to the upsurge in attacks, the military has carried out air strikes on rebel targets in northern Iraq, where several thousand PKK guerrillas are based.

The head of the Turkish armed forces, Gen Ilker Basbug, stepped up pressure on Iraq to clamp down on the rebels.

"The time has come and is passing for those responsible - the people, institutions, states and formations in northern Iraq - to do what is right," he said in an interview with Turkish channel Star TV.

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