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Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Monday, 11 August 2008 16:01 UK

Turkish soldiers killed in blast

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At least nine Turkish soldiers have died in a roadside bomb in the east of the country, Turkish media report.

The blast went off as a military vehicle was passing by the town of Kemah in Erzincan province, according to the private Dogan news agency.

Two soldiers were also injured in the blast, reports said.

Fighting between Turkish soldiers and PKK rebels in eastern and south-eastern Turkey and northern Iraq has escalated in recent months.

Provincial governor Ali Gungor told the state-run Anatolia news agency that the injured soldiers were being treated in various hospitals.

No-one has yet claimed responsibility but the blast occurred in an area which has often been the scene of conflict between the PKK (Kurdish Workers' Party) and government forces.

Last month, Turkish jets attacked a PKK base in northern Iraq, killing an unknown number of fighters.

The air strike came shortly after the government blamed the PKK, which wants an independent Kurdish state in south-east Turkey, for a twin bombing last month in Istanbul that left 17 dead.


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