Kurdish rebels kill 6 Turkish soldiers

Kurdish rebels kill 6 Turkish soldiers
# 01 June 2010 01:17 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. Kurdish rebels launched a rocket attack on a military vehicle near naval base in southern Turkey early Monday, killing six soldiers and wounding seven, the military said, APA reports quoting “Associated Press”.
The rebels fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the vehicle carrying soldiers to a naval logistics base in the Mediterranean port of Iskenderun, officials said.
Three of the wounded were in serious condition, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said.
It was the largest attack by the rebels in recent weeks and came after imprisoned Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan announced that he would abandon efforts to seek dialogue with Turkey starting Monday, accusing the government of ignoring his calls for peace.
Soldiers at the base responded with gunfire, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported, but it was not clear if any of the assailants were hurt.
The military launched a wider operation to catch the rebels, blocking escape routes near the base, the agency reported.
The rebels have been fighting for autonomy in southeast Turkey since 1984. The clashes have killed tens of thousands of people since then.
Ocalan has been influential over his rebel command based in northern Iraq and unsuccessfully pressured Turkey to establish dialogue with his rebels, who are branded as terrorists by the U.S. and the European Union.
Ocalan said his rebel command would be in charge of the process, along with a pro-Kurdish political party that struggles for Kurdish rights.
The clashes picked up after Turkey’s highest court shut down a pro-Kurdish party in December for links to Kurdish rebels, complicating the government’s efforts to reconcile with the minority Kurds to end the 26-year-old conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people.