Kurdish rebels killed in clashes with Turks

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The Independent Online

Turkish troops killed 15 separatist Kurdish rebels today in a clash in south-eastern Turkey, the private Dogan news agency reported.

The fighting reportedly occurred in the mainly Kurdish province of Tunceli, which is not near the border with Iraq where most of the recent clashes have occurred.

An official with the governor's office for Tunceli confirmed that Turkey's military was conducting a military offensive against the rebels at a rural area near the town of Pulumur, but would not provide any further details or confirm any casualty figures.

The government-run Anatolia news agency said the fighting began this morning and the Turkish troops were backed by helicopter gunships. Security forces shut down a major highway leading to Pulumur it said. It did not mention any casualties.

Tunceli is some 340 miles north-east of the province of Sirnak and 400 miles north-east of the province of Hakkari, the places where most of the recent fighting with the rebels have taken place. Sirnak and Hakkari border Iraq.