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Turkey military, Kurdish rebels clash in southeast: army

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map_of_turkeyThe Turkish military said it had responded with artillery fire Wednesday to attacks launched by Kurdish rebels against army positions in the Kurdish-majority southeast near the Iraqi border.

In a statement posted on its website, the army said militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fired mortar shells at its positions in the Daglica district.

In a separate incident, Kurdish rebels attacked military barracks in the region with automatic rifles.

“The terrorist fire was immediately retaliated by our units deployed in the region,” it said. The army did not say if there were any casualties.

The exchange of fire comes amid a fragile peace process between the Turkish state and the PKK, blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and its Western allies.

The latest attack is the second in a week. The military said Tuesday it launched an operation against rebel hideouts and shelters in the Mazi Dagi area in the southeast.

Jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan on Saturday called for Kurds to hold a congress aimed at ending their armed struggle against the Turkish state that has claimed more than 40,000 lives since 1984.

The PKK has largely observed a ceasefire since 2013 but attempts to find a deal have stalled over the issue of the withdrawal of its fighters and weaponry from Turkey



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