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Turkish PM Pays Rare Visit to Mainly-Kurdish Southeast


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has paid a rare visit to mainly Kurdish southeastern Turkey, where he repeated government promises to solve problems in the restive region.

Speaking Sunday in Diyarbakir, Mr. Erdogan told a political conference his government wants to eradicate imbalances between the impoverished region and the rest of Turkey.

Mr. Erdogan's visit coincides with an upsurge in violence blamed on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party said to be operating from bases in northern Iraq.

Dozens of soldiers and suspected Kurdish rebels have been killed in recent months.

The prime minister also condemned last week's bombing of a minibus carrying soldiers' children home from school in the city of Hakkari. Authorities say 11 children were among the 17 people wounded.

Kurds in Turkey began a campaign for an independent homeland in the southeast in 1984. More than 30,000 people have been killed since then.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.