Page last updated at 16:24 GMT, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 17:24 UK

Turkey 'kills 11 Kurdish rebels'

Turkish troops in anti-PKK operation (file pic)
The provinces along the Turkey-Iraq border regularly see clashes

Eleven Kurdish separatist rebels have been killed by Turkish troops during an ongoing operation in south-east Turkey, the country's military has said.

The deaths bring to 33 the total number of fighters from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) that Turkish troops say they have killed in the past five days.

There has been no confirmation from the PKK of the clashes in Hakkari province.

Turkey has launched repeated air and land operations targeting PKK fighters based in the area and in northern Iraq.

The PKK has been fighting for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey since 1984.

A statement on the Turkish military's website said 11 rebels had been killed in an ongoing operation involving jets and attack helicopters.

They said the operation had been launched on Sunday after a group of PKK fighters were identified in a mountainous area near the border with Iraq.

On Monday a PKK spokeswoman, Sozdar Avesta, demanded a ceasefire in the Mount Ararat area, further north than Hakkari, where the PKK is holding three German tourists hostage. She also demanded a change in Germany's Kurdish policy.

More than 30,000 people have died since the PKK began fighting for self-rule. Turkey, the EU and US consider it a terrorist organisation.

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