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Turkey Considers Response to Rebel Killings of Troops


Senior security officials in Turkey are set to meet Tuesday to address a series of Kurdish rebel attacks in the southeast that killed 15 soldiers near the Iraqi border.

Turkey's Cabinet met Monday to discuss the violence.

Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek said the government was considering "all possible measures" against the the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.

The U.S. State Department on Monday condemned the October 7 and September 29 attacks that resulted in the deaths of 13 Turkish soldiers and 12 civilians. It said the United States will continue to help Turkey battle the terrorist threat.

Turkish officials say PKK rebels killed 13 soldiers Sunday in an ambush in Sirnak province, near the Iraqi border. Last month, PKK rebels ambushed a minibus in Sirnak and killed 12 passengers.

And on Monday, Turkish authorities said Kurdish rebels killed two more soldiers in separate landmine attacks in the southeast, in the provinces of Sirnak and Diyarbakir.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the government will continue its fight against Kurdish rebels - in his words - "in a different way." He did not elaborate.

Turkey and Iraq signed a deal last month that commits Iraqi troops to fight Kurdish rebels who Ankara says use bases in northern Iraq to stage cross-border attacks.

The deal does not allow Turkey to send its troops into Iraq. Washington also opposes Turkish military intervention in northern Iraq, fearing it could destabilize Iraq's relatively peaceful Kurdish region.

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