5 Kurdish rebels killed in Turkey

Turkish security forces killed five Kurdish rebels near the southeastern city of Mardin , the Anatolia news agency reported Friday. The rebels were killed in a firefight the previous day as troops launched an operation against the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, an autonomy-seeking Kurdish group active in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq , the report said.

More than 37,000 people have died since 1984 as a result of ongoing fighting between Kurdish rebels and the Turkish military. Military clashes in the largely Kurdish southeast had subsided recently, though tensions were high and several demonstrations took place around the anniversary last week of rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan's capture.

Militants believed linked to the PKK claimed responsibility for two bombings in February that killed one person and wounded 30 in Istanbul , Turkey 's largest city. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey , the United States and the European Union, reports the AP.

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