Turkish Troops Kill 6 Kurdish Rebels Near Border With Iraq

Turkish soldiers killed six separatist Kurdish rebels near the border with Iraq on Tuesday in a clash that also killed a Turkish officer, the military said.

The rebels — four women and two men — were killed on Mount Gabar, in the province of Sirnak, the military said in a statement posted on its Web site. It said the clash erupted after the rebels defied calls for their surrender and opened fire on the soldiers.

The rebels were allegedly among a group of guerrillas that killed 13 soldiers in an ambush in Sirnak on Oct. 7, the military said. The claim could not be immediately verified.

At the time, the military retaliated by shelling areas near the border to prevent rebels from reaching bases in northern Iraq.

That attack, and another similar ambush a few weeks later which killed 12 soldiers, sparked anger in Turkey and widespread calls for the military to cross the border to hit bases of Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, in northern Iraq.