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Three Turkish troops, three PKK militants killed in clashes

Ankara has battled against Kurdish PKK rebels since the 1980s [Getty]

Date of publication: 22 August, 2019

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Turkish officials say three PKK militants and three Turkish soldiers were killed in clashes on Wednesday near the country's border with Iraq and Syria.

Three Turkish soldiers and three Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants were killed in fighting in Turkey's southeastern region bordering Iraq and Syria, the local governers' office said on Thursday.

The soldiers were deployed near the town of Silopi in Sirnak province to maintain security for national energy firm Turkish Petroleum (TPAO).

The fighting broke out with the militants on Wednesday, after military drones had previously spotted them in the same area, the governer's office statement said.

The PKK was founded in Turkey, where the group remains active since launching an insurgency against the state in the 1980s, but is based in Iraqi Kurdistan's Qandil mountains, where its bases and militants are frequently subjected to Turkish aerial bombing.

Turkey has carried out two cross-border offensives into Syria in 2016 and 2018 to tackle Kurdish rebels. The second offensive saw it and allied Syrian rebels overrun the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in the northwest.

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