ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Police clashed with supporters of a Kurdish rebel group in southeastern Turkey on Friday in a four-hour gunfight that killed three people, Turkey's state-run news agency reported.
Violence has flared between the autonomy-seeking Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, and Turkey's security forces in the past two weeks, wrecking an already fragile peace process between the government and the rebels. Turkey's military has launched airstrikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq and in southeastern Turkey while the rebels have carried out numerous attacks on police and soldiers.
The Anadolu Agency said PKK supporters fired at police and workers who were called in to fill ditches that were dug to prevent police from entering a neighborhood in the town of Silopi, near Turkey's border with Iraq.
The sides clashed for some four hours, during which three people died and a police armored vehicle was hit with a rocket, seriously wounding one officer, the agency said.
At least 36 people have now been killed in the renewed violence.
Also Friday, legislators from Turkey's pro-Kurdish party said that eight Iraqi civilians were killed in a Turkish air raid in northern Iraq last week, disputing the Turkish military's claim that the area struck was a camp used by Kurdish rebels.
Returning from a three-day fact-finding mission in northern Iraq, the legislators told reporters that the Turkish warplanes struck the town of Zargel on Aug. 1, also wounding at least 27 civilians. Six homes were totally destroyed and other buildings, including a mosque, were damaged, they said.
The lawmakers said there were no rebel camps in the region and called for legal action against officials responsible for the attack.
The military said last week that the area struck was not a civilian settlement but a Kurdish rebel "sheltering area."