Turkish troops kill 15 rebels, suffer 2 losses

AP News
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Posted: Feb 14, 2012 9:00 AM
Turkish troops kill 15 rebels, suffer 2 losses

A clash in Turkey's mostly Kurdish southeast has left 15 Kurdish rebels and two Turkish soldiers dead, officials said Tuesday.

The governor's office in Sirnak province said the clash took place in a mountainous area northeast of Sirnak after troops detected rebel hideouts late Monday.

Earlier, state television TRT had reported that troops, reinforced from the air with helicopter gunships, killed 10 rebels in Sirnak.

The violence comes just before the 13th anniversary of the capture of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan on Feb. 15 _ a day often marked by attacks or protests by rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

On Monday, nearly 200 suspected Kurdish rebel supporters were arrested, while Turkish warplanes attacked Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq on Sunday.

The PKK is considered a terrorist organization by the European Union and the United States.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed since the PKK took up arms in 1984.