Turkish security officials say one soldier and 12 Kurdish rebels were killed in a clash in eastern Turkey.

They say the fighting erupted in Tunceli province during a military offensive against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.

Clashes usually intensify during this time of year, as melting snow allows the Kurdish rebels to move more freely.

Last week, Turkey's top military official, General Yasar Buyukanit, called for an incursion into Iraq to pursue Kurdish rebels based there.

The PKK announced a unilateral ceasefire in October, but Turkey rejected it. Kurdish rebels have been fighting Turkey for autonomy since 1984. The conflict has claimed more than 37,000 lives.

The U.S. considers the PKK a terrorist organization.

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