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Turkish PM Vows to Fight Kurdish Rebels

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech near soldiers 'coffins at Van airport, eastern Turkey, 19 Jun 2010

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has attended a funeral in the eastern city of Van for some of the Turkish soldiers killed in Saturday's clashes with Kurdistan Worker's Party militants.

Mr. Erdogan said at a military ceremony for 11 soldiers Sunday that the PKK rebels, which he referred to as "terrorists," will not win. The prime minister vowed they will, as he put it, "drown in their own blood."

Turkey's state-run news agency said Sunday Kurdish rebels killed another Turkish solider in an attack on a military outpost near Palu in the southeastern province of Elazig.

Turkish military planes launched air raids against suspected Kurdish rebel positions inside northern Iraq Saturday.

The French news agency reported Turkish troops entered northern Iraq overnight, moving 10 kilometers across the border in search of Kurdish militants.

Turkish military officials said the unrest began early Saturday when militants with the PKK attacked an army outpost near the Iraqi border.

The military said at least nine soldiers and 12 rebels died in the clashes.

The military says a landmine explosion killed two other soldiers who were involved in an operation to capture Kurdish rebels in the region.

The PKK is fighting for Kurdish autonomy in southeastern Turkey, and recently ended a year-long cease-fire because of what it called repeated Turkish military attacks.

Ankara and much of the international community, including the United States and European Union, consider the PKK a terrorist group.

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