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Friday, July 14, 2006

Five Turkish soldiers killed by mine blast

ANKARA (Reuters) - Five Turkish soldiers were killed in a mine blast in eastern Turkey's Bitlis province and four other were wounded, the state Anatolian news agency said on Thursday.

The soldiers were in a military vehicle when a mine exploded on a road.

Mines placed by the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) have killed and injured many Turkish soldiers and civilians since 1984, when the PKK began an armed campaign to carve out an ethnic homeland from Turkey's southeast.

More than 30,000 people have died in fighting between the Turkish military and the PKK.

Clashes have intensified since April when the Turkish military sent an additional 40,000 troops to its Iraqi border from where they believe guerrillas cross in Turkey.

The PKK is considered a terrorist organization by the European Union and the United States.
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