One Syrian guerrilla killed over clash with Turkish police

Kurdish guerrillas exchanged gunfire with police in northeastern Turkey in a clash that left one Syrian rebel dead and four others wounded, the Anatolia news agency reported Monday, the AP reports.

The clash occurred overnight Sunday in a market where the guerrillas were shopping when the police questioned them on suspicion in the town of Macka in the Black Sea province of Trabzon. The ensuing gunbattle left three police officers wounded while security forces killed one of the three rebels hours later.

The governor's office in Trabzon later announced that the rebel killed in the clashes was a Syrian national. Several Syrian Kurds are known to be fighting along Turkish Kurdish rebels in the outlawed group, acco0rding to the AP.

Residents attempted to lynch a wounded rebel, but police immediately transported him to a hospital in an armored car. Police were searching for the third rebel who apparently escaped.

It was the second reported incident of violence between Turkish security forces and rebels since Kurdish guerrillas declared a monthlong unilateral cease-fire beginning Aug. 20. The rebel group, fighting for autonomy in southeastern Turkey, said they would seek indirect dialogue with the government.

Turkey regards the rebels as terrorists and rules out any dialogue. The rebel truce follows a string of bombings at Aegean resorts claimed by militants and ambushes of Turkish troops in the southeast.

The rebels said, however, they would defend themselves if Turkish forces attacked them.

More than 37,000 people have died in the fighting since 1984.

Photo by BBC.