August 5, 2005

Kurdish rebels kill 5 soldiers in southeast Turkey

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Kurdish guerrillas using
rockets and long-range weapons killed five Turkish soldiers and
injured six more in an attack on Friday on a police station in
Turkey's troubled southeast, security officials said. The
attack occurred at 1 a.m. (2200 GMT on Thursday) in the town of
Semdinli, which is near the borders with Iraq and Iran. CNN
Turk said a gun battle raged after the attack for about 15
minutes before the rebels escaped into nearby mountains.

Security forces have launched an operation to catch the
rebels. The injured soldiers were airlifted by helicopter to a
military hospital in the main provincial town of Hakkari.

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which says it
is fighting for an ethnic Kurdish homeland in southeast Turkey,
has stepped up attacks since calling off a unilateral ceasefire
last summer.

More than 30,000 people have died since 1984 when the PKK
took up arms against the Turkish state.

On Thursday PKK fighters released a Turkish soldier they
had been holding captive for nearly four weeks.