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Turkey Says Kurdish Rebels Kill 13 Turkish Soldiers

Turkish security officials say Kurdish rebels have killed 13 Turkish soldiers in a southeastern province near the border with Iraq.

Reports from Turkey say the soldiers were killed Sunday in Sirnak province near an area where a Kurdish rebel was killed in earlier fighting.

A Turkish army statement said an operation is under way to hunt down the attackers. It also said Turkish troops shelled areas near the Iraqi border to try to prevent rebels from reaching their bases in northern Iraq.

Last week, rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, ambushed a minibus in Sirnak and killed 12 passengers, including village guards.

Ankara signed an agreement with Baghdad last month that commits Iraqi troops to crack down on PKK rebels who Turkey says use northern Iraq to attack Turkey. The deal does not allow Turkey to send its troops into Iraq.

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