Reuters International

ANKARA (Reuters) - A Turkish village guard was killed on Wednesday in clashes with Kurdish militants in the southeastern town of Siirt, security sources said, adding that an ariel operation was underway against the insurgents.

The fighting broke out in a rural district of the town in the mainly Kurdish southeast, the sources said. Village guards are residents armed and paid by the state to protect their communities. They are frequent targets for fighters from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Turkey's southeast has been hit by waves of violence since a ceasefire between the PKK and the state fell apart last July. More than 40,000 people, many of them Kurds, have died since the autonomy-seeking PKK first took up arms against the government in 1984.

(Writing by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by David Dolan)

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 Reuters International