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Seven Kurdish rebels killed in clashes with Turkish army

ISTANBUL, April 2 (KUNA) -- Seven guerrillas from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) were killed in clashes in southeast Turkey, military sources said on Friday.
A fight broke out in Hakkari province near the Iraqi border after soldiers encountered a group of about 20 PKK rebels, said the sources, quoted by the Turkish Ikhlas news agency.
The army launched an operation in Hakkari this week after three soldiers on foot patrol were killed by a bomb. Thousands of soldiers are in the region, the sources said.
The PKK, based largely in northern Iraq, said in April 2009 that it would take no offensive action but has said in recent weeks it could resume attacks if it is targeted by the Turkish military.
The rebels have waged a 25-year armed campaign for autonomy in the mainly Kurdish southeast in a conflict that has claimed 44,000 lives. (end) ta.mt KUNA 021103 Apr 10NNNN