Four Kurdish PKK guerrillas killed in S East Turkey

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TUNCELI, Turkey, Sep 22 (Reuters) Four Kurdish guerrillas were killed in operations by the Turkish army on last night raising the number of guerrillas killed this week to 14, military officials said today.

Turkish troops clashed with a group of illegal Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) guerrillas and killed four of them in Hakkari province near the Iraqi border.

Thousands of Turkish troops have stepped up their operations against the PKK rebels in Turkey's mountainous southeastern region before the winter season, when violence subsides.

The PKK launched an armed campaign against the Turkish army in 1984 with the aim of carving out an ethnic Kurdish homeland.

More than 30,000 people have died in the conflict, which subsided for several years after the capture of the group's leader Abdullah Ocalan in 1999.

Fighting has flared up again in the last couple of years with large numbers of the militants crossing the border from northern Iraq, where they are holed up in mountain bases.

Reuters SBC GC1648

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