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Friday, June 30, 2006

Kurd rebels kill 2 soldiers in raid in Turkey

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, June 30 (Reuters) - Kurdish rebels killed two Turkish soldiers and injured five others during an attack on a police station in Turkey's troubled southeast region, security officials said on Friday.

The attack occurred late on Thursday in a mountainous area of Bingol province, about 100 km (60 miles) north of Diyarbakir, the biggest city in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast.

"An operation has been launched in nearby mountains to catch the rebels," an official said.

Turkish security forces have been battling separatist rebels of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the southeast for more than two decades in a conflict that has claimed more than 30,000, mostly Kurdish, lives.

Like Turkey, the European Union, which Ankara hopes to join, and the United States also class the PKK as a terrorist group. But the EU has also urged Ankara to boost Kurdish cultural rights and tackle endemic poverty in the southeast.
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