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Seven soldiers killed, seventeen wounded in clashes in SE Turkey

ISTANBUL - Daily News with wires | 7/20/2010 12:00:00 AM |

Six Turkish soldiers were killed before dawn on Tuesday in a firefight between security forces and suspected members of the PKK in the southeastern province of Hakkari.

Six Turkish soldiers were killed before dawn on Tuesday in a firefight between security forces and members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, in the southeastern province of Hakkari.

Meanwhile, in a separate on Tuesday, another Turkish soldier was killed in a suspected PKK attack in Gürpınar village of the southeastern province of Van, the daily Hürriyet reported.

In the initial incident, reports said the PKK attacked a remote outpost housing a military unit from Kayseri in Kavuşak village in the district of Çukurca on Monday night.

Six soldiers were reported killed while 17 others were wounded in the ensuing firefight. Reports say the troops, reinforced by helicopter gunships, have launched a counter offensive and that clashes are still under way.

During a parliamentary group speech to his Justice and Development Party, or AKP, caucus on Tuesday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said 15 soldiers were wounded while one PKK member was killed in the attack.

In Gürpınar, alleged members of the PKK attacked a military vehicle transporting soldiers to an operation, killing one soldier.

The PKK is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

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