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Kurdish Rebels Kill 13 Civilians, Turkish Troops Kill 2 Rebels

Turkish media say troops have killed two Kurdish rebels in a battle in southeastern Turkey near the Iraqi border.

Turkish news agency Anatolia reports the fighting began when rebels attacked a military post Sunday in Hakkari province.

On Saturday, Kurdish rebels fired on a minibus carrying government-paid village guards and civilians in neighboring Sirnak province. Thirteen people were killed in the attack, one of the deadliest in southeastern Turkey in years.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Sunday condemned the minibus shooting and vowed to pursue the attackers.

Turkey's government signed an agreement with Iraq Friday to cooperate in fighting rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party, also known as the PKK.

Ankara says PKK rebels have been launching attacks against Turkey from bases in northern Iraq. But, the Iraqi government refused to allow Turkey to send its troops into northern Iraq to chase the rebels.

The PKK has been fighting for autonomy in southeastern Turkey since 1984. More than 30,000 people have been killed in the conflict. Turkey, the United States and European Union consider the PKK to be a terrorist group.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.