Deadly Turkish-PKK clash kills 18

Eight Turkish soldiers and 10 Kurdish rebels were killed early Tuesday in clashes in southeast Turkey, the local governor’s office said.

Eight Turkish soldiers were killed and 16 wounded when members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attacked an army post at Yesiltas, near the border with Iraq and Iran, the governor’s office said in a statement posted on its website.
 “Operations are continuing in the region. According to preliminary findings, 10 terrorists were rendered ineffective,” it added, a term often used by Turkish officials and security forces to refer to rebel deaths.

A group of Kurdish rebels probably crossed into Turkey from their bases in northern Iraq to attack the army post at Yesiltas, local security services said.

The NTV news channel said ground troops and combat helicopters were pursuing the fighters.

Tuesday’s PKK attack comes after Turkish troops killed four Kurdish rebels last week as they attempted to cross into southeastern Turkey from Syria.

Clashes have intensified in recent months, mostly along Turkey’s frontier with Iraq, where Kurdish rebels are said to be largely based in rugged terrain.

Among the most deadliest incidents was a large-scale PKK operation in October 2011 that killed 24 Turkish soldiers, while a Turkish airstrike in December massacred 35 Kurdish civilians, which Ankara excused as an error.

The PKK took up arms in the Kurdish-majority southeast Turkey in 1984 for self-determination, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

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