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Turkish security forces kill six Kurdish rebels

Written by: Staff

ISTANBUL, Apr 8 (Reuters) Turkish security forces have killed six militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in a large operation in the mainly Kurdish southeast, security sources said today.

The killings come amid an escalation of attacks, some claimed by a group with links to the PKK, and after the worst civil unrest in the southeast for more than a decade.

Security forces, in a helicopter-backed operation launched three days ago in the mountainous area of Sirnak near the Iraqi border, killed the six rebels on Friday, the sources said.

Some observers are concerned that violence could escalate to levels seen in the 1990s, the peak of the PKK's campaign for a Kurdish homeland.

Ankara considers the PKK a terrorist organisation, as do the United States and the European Union, and more than 30,000 people have been killed since the launch of its campaign in 1984.

A suicide bomber blew herself up near a mosque in the northern coastal city of Ordu on Friday, media reported, although there was no claim of responsibility, while three people were injured in a bomb attack in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, security officials said.

On the same day in Istanbul police detained 11 members of the PKK with 7.8 kg of plastic explosives, Anatolian agency reported, just days after the Kurdistan Liberation Hawks -- which have ties to the PKK -- attacked the ruling AK Party's offices in Istanbul.

Reuters CH BD1438

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