Blast kills village guard in Turkey

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The Independent Online

A blast in southeastern Turkey has killed one government-paid village guard and injured three others, according to Turkey's military.

An explosive device believed to have been planted by Kurdish rebels caused the blast on Saturday in Sirnak province near the Iraqi border, the military said in a written statement.

The military said earlier that 16 Kurdish rebels and three soldiers had been killed in clashes in Sirnak during the past week.

Village guards are armed by the government to ease the burden on soldiers fighting the rebels.

Turkey has been battling rebels of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, since 1984. Fighting in the country's predominantly Kurdish southeast has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

The Kurdistan Workers' Party is fighting for Kurdish self-rule in southeast Turkey. It is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.