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Four Turkish soldiers reported killed in clashes with Kurds

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Four Turkish servicemen, including an officer, died and at least nine soldiers were wounded in clashes with Kurdish separatists in southeast Turkey, local media reported on Tuesday.
ANKARA, November 13 (RIA Novosti) - Four Turkish servicemen, including an officer, died and at least nine soldiers were wounded in clashes with Kurdish separatists in southeast Turkey, local media reported on Tuesday.

Turkish NTV television said the troops suffered casualties during a special operation in the Sirnak province, where Turkey maintains a large military contingent in anticipation of a major cross-border operation against around 3,500 insurgents from the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), believed to be based in northern Iraq.

"There are also reports of heavy casualties among the [Kurdish] terrorists," NTV said.

In mid-October, Turkey's parliament sanctioned military cross-border operations against PKK separatists following an earlier government request and despite opposition from Washington and Baghdad.

Turkish media also reported a number of airstrikes earlier in the day on suspected Kurdish outposts and bases near Zakhu, an Iraqi Kurdish town near the border with Turkey.

The PKK, labeled by the U.S., NATO and the EU as a terrorist organization, has been fighting for autonomy status in southeast Turkey for nearly 25 years. The conflict has so far claimed about 40,000 lives.

80 Kurdish militants and over 50 soldiers have been killed in sporadic clashes near the border with Iraq since September.

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