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Turkish Troops Kill 23 Kurdish Rebels After Ambush Kills 12 Soldiers

By VOA News

Turkey's military says troops have killed 23 Kurdish rebels in southeastern Turkey after a rebel ambush in the region killed 12 soldiers.

The military says the violence erupted when Kurdish rebels attacked an army unit this morning near the town of Yuksekova in Hakkari province, near the Iraqi border. It says Turkish forces then launched a counteroffensive.

Iraqi officials say Turkish forces fired artillery toward Kurdish villages in northern Iraq. No casualties were reported.

In another incident in southeastern Turkey, a bomb blast wounded at least 10 people on a minibus near the area where the Turkish soldiers were killed.

Turkey's prime minister says the government will hold emergency talks Sunday to consider its reaction to the latest rebel attacks.

The leader of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, Massoud Barzani, says his people will defend themselves if attacked by foreign forces.

Turkey's government won parliamentary approval Wednesday for military raids into northern Iraq to hunt for rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. Ankara blames the PKK for attacks that have killed about 30 soldiers in the past month.

A pro-Kurdish news agency (Firat) quotes the PKK as saying its forces took several Turkish soldiers hostage during today's fighting.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

... Payvand News - 10/21/07 ... --

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