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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Two Turkish soldiers killed in Kurd rebel clash

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Two Turkish soldiers were killed in clashes with Kurdish militants in southeast Turkey on Tuesday, security officials said.

They said army operations against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels in the mountainous region bordering Iraq were continuing.

Violence between Turkish security forces and militants has increased in recent months.

After 16 soldiers were killed in the space of just one week in July, Ankara reaffirmed its right to cross into northern Iraq to crush thousands of rebels believed to be holed up there.

It has also repeated calls for U.S. troops based in Iraq to tackle the PKK, which launched its armed campaign for a Kurdish homeland in southeast Turkey 1984 and is blamed by Ankara for more than 30,000 deaths since then.

Like Turkey, the United States and the European Union both regard the PKK as a terrorist organisation.
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