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16 Kurdish Rebels Killed in Clash with Turkish Forces

Firefighters in front of burning cars after an explosion near a police station in southern Turkish city of Gaziantep, Turkey, August 20, 2012.
Turkish troops have killed 16 Kurdish rebels in southeastern Turkey in clashes that followed an attack on a military convoy.

Turkish officials said rebels from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) detonated roadside bombs Wednesday in Hakkari, near the border with Iraq and Iran, killing five soldiers and wounding seven others.

The army responded with troop reinforcements and helicopter gunships, killing the 16 rebels.

PKK [Kurdistan Workers Party]

The Kurdistan Workers Party ( PKK):

  • founded in 1974 by Abdullah Ocalan
  • Marxist-Leninist separatist organization
  • took up arms against Turkey in 1984; more than 40,000 people have been killed since
  • most of the violence has been in Turkey's southeast
  • listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and EU
  • has declared several short lived cease-fires
Officials blamed the PKK for a car bombing Monday in the southern town of Gaziantep, near Syria, that killed nine people. The PKK denied responsibility for that attack.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.