Reuters International

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - A Turkish soldier and a Kurdish militant were killed on Saturday in a firefight in the southeast, and jets struck rebel targets elsewhere in the region, security sources said.

The clash with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) broke out during military operations in Diyarbakir province after the authorities imposed round-the-clock curfews on 18 villages, the sources said. A soldier was also wounded in the fighting.

Warplanes also bombed PKK shelters and weapons stores in the mountainous Buzul region of Hakkari province, which borders Iraq and Iran, the sources said.

A two-year ceasefire between the autonomy-seeking PKK and the Turkish state collapsed last year, and thousands of militants, members of the security forces and civilians have been killed in the ensuing violence.

The PKK took up arms against the state in 1984, and more than 40,000 people, mainly Kurds, have died since then. Kurds make up nearly 20 percent of Turkey's population of 80 million.

(Writing by Ayla Jean Yackley; Editing by Andrew Bolton)


 Reuters International